‘Keep strong, remember everything you have learnt’::constructing support and solidarity through online interaction within a UK cancer support group.

Baxter, Judith A (2018). ‘Keep strong, remember everything you have learnt’::constructing support and solidarity through online interaction within a UK cancer support group. Discourse and Society, 29 (4),

Abstract

This paper analyses the linguistic and multimodal interactions of a group of seven cancer patients and two carers, who had previously met on a residential course and subsequently set up an online support group. I explore how this group of participants constructs relationships of support and solidarity online over seven months using a range of multimodal resources including web links, video clips, avatars and songs. This is a semi-ethnographic case study that arose from my own experiences as a participant in the support group. I gathered the data directly from the WhatsApp facility on a ‘smart phone’, and then analysed the interactions and their use of diverse resources by means of Interactional Sociolinguistic analysis. The paper finds that participants construct support and solidarity in highly inventive ways: by using diverse modes and types of expression; by means of humour; building a ‘special’ sense of in-group togetherness; and biographical work – that is, recasting ‘who they are’ in light of their illness.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926518754414
Divisions: Languages & Social Sciences
Additional Information: ‘Keep strong, remember everything you have learnt’: constructing support and solidarity through online interaction within a UK cancer support group. Baxter, J. A. 29 Jan 2018 In : Discourse and Society. 29, 4. Copyright © 2018 (The author) Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Online interactions; cancer; support groups; multimodal resources; humour; biographical work; in-group solidarity.
Published Online Date: 2018-01-29
Authors: Baxter, Judith A

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