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Governance Through Mobile Apps: The Construction of Public Health Problems

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Governance Through Mobile Apps: The Construction of Public Health Problems

Lamothe, Carmen (2018) Governance Through Mobile Apps: The Construction of Public Health Problems. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

ABSTRACT
Governance Through Mobile Apps:
The Construction of Public Health Problems

Carmen Lamothe

Mobile phone applications (apps) for health are proliferating at a tremendous rate and public health agencies are now starting to offer their own apps as a tool for promoting public health information. Taking a critical public health perspective, this thesis examines the emerging use of mobile apps by public health agencies and the ways that public health apps form and frame public health problems. It first provides a descriptive account of apps promoted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). Then, using a Foucauldian inspired policy analysis methodology (Bacchi 2009) two apps from the CDC are examined. These apps constructed public health problems in ways that explicitly held some groups accountable, while implicitly absolving others. The findings in this thesis illustrate that the app design process raises important (and under-researched) questions about how apps may come to emphasize certain types of public health knowledges and politics. The discourses on these apps can be understood as a guide to healthy behaviour, instructing subjects how to become productive and responsible. Findings highlight how apps can be understood as "mini-policies" where public health problems and policies come to be refracted and reframed.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Sociology and Anthropology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Lamothe, Carmen
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Sociology
Date:30 August 2018
Thesis Supervisor(s):French, Martin
ID Code:984446
Deposited By: CARMEN LAMOTHE
Deposited On:16 Nov 2018 15:44
Last Modified:16 Nov 2018 15:44
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