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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10373/498

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Title: ‘What’s it like to have ME?’: the discursive construction of ME in computer-mediated communication and face-to-face interaction
Authors: Guise, Jennifer
Widdicombe, Sue
McKinlay, Andy
Affiliation: University of Abertay Dundee. School of Social and Health Sciences
Keywords: ME/CFS
Discursive psychology
Illness descriptions
Computer-mediated communication
Issue Date: 2007
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Type: Journal Article
Refereed: peer-reviewed
Rights: This is the author's final version of this article. Published version (c)SAGE Publications, available from DOI: 10.1177/1363459307070806
Citation: Guise, J., Widdicombe, S. and McKinlay, A. 2007. ‘What’s it like to have ME?’: the discursive construction of ME in computer-mediated communication and face-to-face interaction. Health: an Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine. 11(1): pp:87-108. Available from DOI: 10.1177/1363459307070806
Abstract: ME/CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) is a debilitating illness for which no cause or medical tests have been identified. Debates over its nature have generated interest from qualitative researchers. However, participants are difficult to recruit because of the nature of their condition. Therefore, this study explores the utility of the internet as a means of eliciting accounts. We analyse data from focus groups and the internet in order to ascertain the extent to which previous research findings apply to the internet domain. Interviews were conducted among 49 members of internet (38 chatline, 11 personal) and 7 members of two face-to-face support groups. Discourse analysis of descriptions and accounts of ME/CFS revealed similar devices and interactional concerns in both internet and face-to-face communication. Participants constructed their condition as serious, enigmatic and not psychological. These functioned to deflect problematic assumptions about ME/CFS and to manage their accountability for the illness and its effects.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10373/498
ISSN: 1363-4593
Appears in Collections:Social & Health Sciences Collection

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