Engendering assemblages: the constitution of digital health data as an epistemic consumption object

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This article uncovers the ideational work implied in the formation of a new assemblage dedicated to the constitution of ‘digital health’ as a productive field of social action. We analyze the Israeli National Plan for Digital Health as a Growth Engine, examining how it formulates and communicates imaginaries of digital health and of health data. The analysis illuminates how digital health data is constructed as an epistemic consumption object with economic and social value, and how the assemblage necessary for realizing these values is imagined. The research reveals the predominant position of one actant–health data–in the formation of the assemblage. The notion of digital health data and the ways in which it is imagined as a multivocal and open-ended object function as a pivotal focus of the assemblage, giving it its characters, outlining its goals and the benefits that might emerge from its operation, defining the human and non-human actants that constitute it, and formulating the conditions for its productive operation. At a more general level, the study contributes to the study of the formation of socio-technical assemblages that are constituted around data as their pivotal focus, elucidating the specific imaginaries involved in these processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)599-616
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Cultural Economy
Issue number5
Early online date12 May 2022
StateE-pub ahead of print - 12 May 2022

Bibliographical note

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© 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Digital health
  • assemblage
  • big data
  • epistemic consumption object
  • imaginary


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