Enrolling Men, Their Doctors, and Partners: Individual and Collective Responses to Erectile Dysfunction.

Book chapter by Johnson, Ericka and Cecilia Åsberg

This chapter examines how men, their doctors and their partners are enrolled by the Pfizer-sponsored website for potential Swedish Viagra customers. We read this enrolment as an example of how new techno-social identities are created by a drug, in this case, Viagra. The Swedish-language site www.potenslinjen.se2 (in English, ‘potency hotline’) is framed as a source of information for laypeople concerned about erectile dysfunction.3 We have examined how the site’s text and imagery address different audiences in the construction of the Swedish Viagra man. Our analysis builds on existing literature about the promotion of Viagra which addresses the construction of erectile dysfunction (ED) and masculinity in other national contexts, and we therefore make mention of alternative images and readings in other contexts throughout our analysis. Like previous critical studies of Viagra (Fishman and Mamo 2001; Marshall 2006; Tiefer 2006; Vares and Braun 2006), we are examining the construction of an ideal user of Viagra, but we also discuss the way the enrolment of doctors and partners serves to position ED in the man and define its treatment as a solitary act of taking a pill while simultaneously involving the other actors to help the medicine function.

Title of Journal / Edit Volume, incl. names of editors:
Glocal Pharma: International Brands and the Imagination of Local Masculinity

Johnson, Ericka

Research Area:
Toxic Embodiment




Affiliated but not funded by Seed Box
Cecilia Åsbergs pariticpation in the Seed Box is financed through her position at tema Genus (Gender Studies) .Erika Johnson is financed by others sources.