Gendering Chronic Illness in Patient Advocacy

Research output: Other conference contributionScientific


Gendered discrepancies in the emergence and care of different diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, have been increasingly discussed in the 21st century. Different ways of mobilizing gender also shape the ways in which patient organizations can respond to ongoing changes in healthcare infrastructure and practices of care. However what constitutes gender in these discussions is ambiguous. In this article, we examine how the concept of gender travels from biomedical discourse into the work of patient organizations, who are representatives of and mediators between patients, and medical and societal institutions. By focusing on three Finnish patient organizations representing differently gendered chronic conditions, we ask when does gender appear and disappear in their conceptualization of the illnesses, and why and how it becomes salient. We show that gendered conceptualizations are not straightforward in the work of patient organizations, and that links to gender can raise contestations or be seen as hampering the organization’s goals. We explicate how patient organizations’ work is born out of a need to address gaps in the healthcare system that leaves its constituents debilitated.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jun 2023
Publication typeNot Eligible
EventNordic Science and Technology Studies Conference - University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
Duration: 6 Jun 20239 Jun 2023


ConferenceNordic Science and Technology Studies Conference


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