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ERIC Number: EJ855332
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0741-0883
Internet Health and the 21st-Century Patient: A Rhetorical View
Segal, Judy Z.
Written Communication, v26 n4 p351-369 2009
Internet health--here, the public use of information Web sites to facilitate decision making on matters of health and illness--is a rhetorical practice, involving text and trajectories of influence. A fulsome account of it requires attention to all parts of the rhetorical triangle--the speaker, the subject matter, and the audience--yet most scholarship on Internet health focuses on the speaker only: it typically raises concerns primarily about the dangers of unreliable sources, suggesting that, where speakers are reliable and information is accurate, Internet health simply "empowers" patients. This essay turns attention to the other elements of the triangle. It argues that health information is a complex entity--not only transmitted but also transformed by the Web--and, further, that Internet-health users are a complex audience--not only informed but also transformed by the Web. Rhetorically-minded researchers are well positioned to study not simply the informed patient but rather, more comprehensively, the wired one. (Contains 9 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A