Orders of worth and spheres of justice: From dual to multiple sphere ontologies in the Googlization of health

Lecture of Prof. Dr. Tamar Sharon (Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen)

Wednesday, 2 December 2020, Social Research Colloquium (University of Lucerne)
16.15 h via Zoom

Abstract. The digitalization of health and medicine has engendered a proliferation of new collaborations between public health institutions and data corporations, such as Google, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon. Critical perspectives on this “Googlization of health” tend to frame them as an instance of market transgressions by tech giants into the sphere of health and medicine, in line with a “hostile worlds” doctrine that upholds that the borders between market and non-market spheres should be carefully policed. In this talk, I discuss the limitations of this approach in the context of the Googlization of health. In order to move beyond these, I will advance a framework based on a multiple, rather than a dual, sphere ontology that draws on Boltanski and Thévenot’s orders of worth and Michael Walzer’s theory of justice. I show how this analytical framework is better equipped to identify and address the numerous risks posed by the involvement of these corporations in health and medicine.


Meeting-ID: 924 4259 0308
Code: 324000