Accepted Paper:

Technological impact on social identity  

Author:

Kristín E Harðardóttir (University of Iceland)

Paper short abstract:

This paper will examine mobility of identity in a global context with a particular focus on how the Internet affects individuals and shapes the identity of patient groups. Diagnosed individuals and people in risk groups become part of a new definition of identity, as biological citizens.

Paper long abstract:

Modern biotechnology and informatics have opened up a new world in which a multitude of information can be isolated and exploited for various purposes. This paper will examine mobility of identity in global context with a particular focus on how the internet effect individuals and shapes the identity of patient groups. Diagnosed individuals and people in risk groups become a part of new definition of identity, which are biological citizens. Through developments in technology and medical abilities western healthcare system are increasingly targeting symptom-free individuals for all kinds of screening. By monitoring those with genetic predispositions and their families new groups and individual identities will emerge. These developments can be explored partly through increased biomedicalization in Iceland and through individual interest in knowledge and access to information. In a way we can say that these developments have affected how we define "health". With augmented access to knowledge, surveillance, preventive processes, risk assessment, treatment of risk factor and by consumption of all kind of self-help services our aim is to stay healthy and it becomes our personal responsibility to stay healthy. In the paper I will focus on growing formulated and manifestation of identity within anthropological discussions and also use accounts based on research on screening procedures for colon cancer in Iceland.

Panel W066
Different manifestations of identities and space in a global context