Øster Farimagsgade 5, Opgang E, 1353 København K
The working title of my PhD-study is: Online peer-support communities
for persons with type 1 diabetes – an ethnographic study of processes
and practices of knowledge production and social support in everyday
Online communities for persons with type 1 diabetes is increasing in
Denmark as well as worldwide, and opens up a virtual space through
which exchange of experience, social support and connections among
peers are made possible. Previous studies have mainly looked at online
support communities as fixed settings isolated from the embodied and
contextual everyday life setting. Recent research, however, points to
the fact that online and offline worlds are connected and can be felt
and experienced as continuous spaces with the online space as a mental
settlement within a physical embodied everyday life. In order to
understand the benefits and limitations of online peer-support
communities for persons with type 1 diabetes, it is essential to know
more about how the virtual and the non-virtual worlds are interrelated
in everyday life with type 1 diabetes.
The overall objective of this PhD-study is to explore the processes
and practices of knowledge production and social support in online
peer-support communities for persons with type 1 diabetes and how
these relates to everyday life.
Empirically the project is based on fieldwork in a Danish context of
persons with type 1 diabetes. With inspiration from the analytical
theoretical approach of Science and Technology Studies, praxiography
and post-phenomenology, the aim is to follow the person with type 1
diabetes to the specific settings (online and offline) where everyday
life with the disease is practiced in order to understand
socio-material everyday life processes of knowledge production and
social support. Fieldwork will be carried out in real life settings
with in-home interviews and observations of socio-material practices,
online at social networking communities and at offline social
networking sites announced through the online communities.
Some sub-questions to be explored:
- How do online communities reshape social relationship and support in time and space?
- How are boundaries between offline-online social dimensions constituted?
It is an industrial PhD-project in collaboration with the Health
Promotion Research Centre at Steno and Department of Anthropology,
Supervisor: Ayo Wahlberg