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Enrolling Men, their Doctors, and Partners: Individual and Collective Responses to Erectile Dysfunction
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Technology and Social Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5041-5018
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, The Department of Gender Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. (The Posthumanities Hub)
2012 (English)In: Science & Technology Studies, ISSN 2243-4690, Vol. 25, no 2, 46-60 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Using the Pfizer funded Swedish informational site about erectile dysfunction (ED),, we examine how potential users, their partners, and medical doctors are enrolled in the process of creating the Swedish Viagra user. Contextualized against other critical work on Viagra, our analysis shows how the commercial discourse embeds the ED patient into a network of actors. Three separate actors are co-constituted and enrolled by this erectile dysfunction information discourse, comprising Viagra marketing material in a country which forbids direct to consumer advertising of prescription medication. Doctors are enrolled to produce the cultural authority of expert medical knowledge, whereas partners are given responsibility for the emotional aspects of a man’s sexuality and encouraged to direct the man toward the relationship-saving Viagra. Throughout, though, the man is the patient responsible for taking Viagra to fix his dysfunctioning penis. We problematize this individualised solution by contrasting it with the social aspects of the discourse and examining other qualitative and historical studies of impotence. We then ask if the enrolment presented by the Swedish Viagra website could be (mis)used to expand the circle of actors involved in ED, redefi ning the ‘problem’ and opening for a wider variety of treatments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Tampere: Finnish Society for Science and Technology Studies , 2012. Vol. 25, no 2, 46-60 p.
Keyword [en]
Viagra, enrolment, Erectile Dysfunction
National Category
Gender Studies Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-73521OAI: diva2:474002
Available from: 2012-01-08 Created: 2012-01-08 Last updated: 2015-12-02Bibliographically approved

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Johnson, ErickaÅsberg, Cecilia
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Technology and Social ChangeFaculty of Arts and SciencesThe Department of Gender Studies
Gender StudiesSociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)

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