Generating a Social Movement Online Community through an Online Discourse: The Case of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

Abstract

Online communities, created and sustained by people sharing and discussing texts on the internet, play an increasingly important role in social health movements. In this essay, we explore a collective mobilization in miniature through an in-depth analysis of two satiric texts from an online community for people with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). By blending a sociological analysis with a rhetorical exploration of these texts, our aim is to grasp the discursive generation of a social movement online community set up by sufferers themselves to negotiate and contest the dominating biomedical perception of their condition.

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Acknowledgements

The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and publication of this article: The Norweigan Research Council, Research Program of Health and Care Sciences (grant no. 212978 and 204324).

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Correspondence to Olaug S. Lian.

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Lian, O.S., Grue, J. Generating a Social Movement Online Community through an Online Discourse: The Case of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. J Med Humanit 38, 173–189 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10912-016-9390-8

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Keywords

  • Online research
  • Chronic illness
  • Fatigue/exhaustion
  • Interdisciplinary research
  • Discourse analysis