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Thiel / Ntewusu

The Social Life of Health Data

Health Records and Knowledge Production in Ghana

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Buch. Hardcover


xiii, 179 S. 3 s/w-Abbildungen, 5 Farbabbildungen, Bibliographien.

In englischer Sprache

Palgrave Macmillan UK. ISBN 9789819734993

Format (B x L): 14,8 x 21 cm


This book takes the contemporary moment of digital health infrastructuring in Ghana as a starting point to examine the genealogies of oral, paper-based and digital forms of knowledge production about health. In view of this multiplicity of forms, the chapters adopt a broad definition of health data that encompasses databases, statistics as well as oral and written records and reports about health. In addition to close historiographic insights into the interactions of indigenous and colonial ways of organising knowledge around health, the chapters explore contemporary ways in which medical professionals are mobilized or potentially demobilized by the standards, methods and calculative devices that accompany the increasing production of health data. The authors show that the contemporary hype around the datafication of health is neither new nor exceptional, but instead needs to be read in broader historical perspective. Through its unique combination of historical, sociological and ethnographic methods, the book shows that the regulation and standardization of health produces both mobilizations and demobilizations, as well as appropriations and resistances. Alena Thiel is an anthropologist whose work covers public sector digitalization, statistical production and the development of health information systems in Ghana. She leads the project “How Democracies Know: Identification Technologies and Quantitative Analyses of Development in Ghana” and is affiliated Senior Researcher in the project “African Technoscapes”. Samuel Ntewusu has worked with the University of Ghana, Accra as a Research Assistant and later as a faculty member teaching African History from earliest times to the present. He has recently been appointed as the Director of the Institute of African Studies.

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