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Illness Online. Popular, Tagged and Ranked Bodies | Supervisors: Richard Rogers and Ellen Rutten. Aula, 16 September 2020, 14.00 hrs.

Detail Summary
Date 16 September 2020
Time 14:00

In my dissertation, I employ digital methods to examine how people use social media to speak about their illnesses, the types of stories they tell, and what telling these stories affords them. The results are three types of social media illness stories. The first type, the stories of popular bodies, are the stories of patients who vlog on YouTube and practice micro-celebrity. The second type, the stories of tagged bodies, are stories about people who suffer from disenfranchised conditions and use Instagram to share (and tag) their personal experiences. The goals of this public storytelling are to fight stigmas and create communities. The last type is the stories of ranked bodies. These are the stories of people in financial distress who use crowdfunding sites such as GoFundMe to raise funds to pay for medical treatment. Overall, the dissertation argues that social media visibility and the socio-technical conditions of online popularity, tagging, and being ranked enhance but also diminish the political potential of illness storytelling.