Making markets for Allergy Online

Will, Catherine M, Morlacchi, Piera and Smith, Helen (2015) Making markets for Allergy Online. In: ESA 2015: 12th Conference of the European Sociological Association, 25-28 Aug 2015, Prague.

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In this paper we explore the field of allergy as it appears on the Internet. Starting from a simple search, we draw attention to the ways in which allergy is created as both clinical condition and series of market opportunities. Where medical sociology has often been critical of commercial, especially pharmaceutical, involvement in health, and tended to celebrate the activities of patient organisations, we use discourse analysis to examine the similar strategies and messages from commercial and voluntary actors, and the ways in which sufferers are encouraged both to defer to medical expertise and also to take responsibility for finding their own ways to live with allergy in daily life. We suggest this creates difficulties for readers who are positioned as both patients and consumers through more or less awkward juxtapositions of advice and product placement in health markets that go well beyond pharmaceuticals, and suggest that these markets deserve more attention from medical sociologists among others.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: Abstracts available online at, ISBN: 9788073302726.
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Primary Care and Public Health
School of Business, Management and Economics > Business and Management
School of Business, Management and Economics > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Depositing User: Stacey Goldup
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2016 16:06
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2016 16:06
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