Thinking with care infrastructures: people, devices and the home in home blood pressure monitoring

Weiner, Kate and Will, Catherine M (2018) Thinking with care infrastructures: people, devices and the home in home blood pressure monitoring. Sociology of Health & Illness, 40 (2). pp. 270-282. ISSN 0141-9889

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Abstract

The growing consumer market in health monitoring devices means that technologies that were once the preserve of the clinic are moving into spaces such as homes and workplaces. We consider how one such device, blood pressure monitors, comes to be integrated into everyday life. We pursue the concept of ‘care infrastructure’, drawing on recent scholarship in STS and medical sociology, to illuminate the work and range of people, things and spaces involved in selfmonitoring. Drawing on a UK study involving observations and interviews with 31 people who have used a consumer blood pressure monitor, we apply the concept beyond chronic illness, to practices involving consumer devices – and develop a critical account of its value. We conclude that the care infrastructure concept is useful to highlight the socio-material arrangements involved in selfmonitoring, showing that even for ostensibly personal devices, monitoring may be a shared practice that expresses care for self and for others. The concept also helps draw attention to links between different objects and spaces that are integral to the practice, beyond the device alone. Care infrastructure draws attention to the material, but ensures that analytic attention engages with both material and social elements of practice and their connections.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Depositing User: Catherine Will
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2017 14:10
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2018 13:00
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/71105

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