Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Dr. A. Fuat Firat

Second Advisor

Dr. Nikhilesh Dholakia

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert V. Kozinets


This research explores new systems of marketing, and new roles and relationships of organizations and consumers developing in healthcare as a result of transformations occurring in technology, consumer/marketer value systems, forms of discourse and institutional roles. Inspired by observations from a Medicine 2.0 community organization, which turn social networking into a business phenomenon – PatientsLikeMe (PLM) – I explore how such systems develop and function and the institutionalizations that reconstitute roles and maintain relationships among actors in these systems through netnographic research. That is, (1) why and how patients in PLM participate in the social co-production of medical knowledge and experience, and (2) how the ‘community’ organizes roles and relations, and institutionalize ‘sharing’ in healthcare where privacy dominates relations. Findings articulate a dialogical approach to organizing roles and relations with the dilution of provisioning in this co-mediated market system, which reflects collaborative, connective and communal relations built on dialogues among diverse healthcare actors. From a theoretical vantage point, Foucauldian notions of biopower and govern-mentality are reconsidered in order to articulate why and how such a system may be attracting healthcare actors and maintain their interest and sharing in this community.


Copyright 2010 Handan Vicdan. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American