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The thing about pain: the remaking of illness narratives in chronic pain expressions on social media

Gonzalez-Polledo, Elena and Tarr, Jen (2016) The thing about pain: the remaking of illness narratives in chronic pain expressions on social media. New Media and Society, 18 (8). pp. 1455-1472. ISSN 1461-4448

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Identification Number: 10.1177/1461444814560126

Abstract

In this article, we analyse chronic pain narratives on Flickr and Tumblr. We focus on how, by incorporating visual and multimodal elements, chronic pain expressions in social media significantly extend and challenge the logic, function and effects of traditional ‘illness narratives’. We examine a sample of images and blogs related to chronic pain and formulate a typology of chronic pain expressions on these sites. Flickr brings a form of narrative immediacy, making the pain experience visible, eliciting empathy and marking chronicity. Tumblr lends itself to more networked forms of interaction through the circulation of multimodal memes, and support communities are built through humour and social criticism. We argue that new forms of mediation and social media dynamics transform pain narratives. This has implications for our understandings of the forms and formats of pain communication and offers new possibilities for communicating pain within and beyond clinical contexts.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://nms.sagepub.com/
Additional Information: © 2016 The Authors
Divisions: Methodology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Sets: Departments > Methodology
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2014 15:56
Last Modified: 23 May 2018 12:08
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council, National Centre for Research Methods, Methodological Innovations Projects scheme (Communicating Chronic Pain: Interdisciplinary Strategies for Non-Textual Data), Economic and Social Research Council, ESRC National Centre for Research Methods, University of Southampton
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/60247

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