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‘Does anyone else have this?’ The role of emotion in forum discussions about medical conditions affecting sex characteristics

Digital technologies provide opportunities for people to seek health-related support and information. This is particularly salient for people whose health concerns or bodily differences are rare or stigmatised, making it difficult to talk face-to-face with similar others. Searching online may be the only way to find others with similar experiences. This study examines what happens when people do just that.

Publisert i Forskningspublikasjoner Mandag 4. oktober, 2021 - 17:50 | sist oppdatert Mandag 4. oktober, 2021 - 18:06

Forskere: Katrina Roen, Erik Carlquist og Lin Prøitz.


The dataset for this study has been generated from online posts by people living with variations of sex characteristics, which some call intersex variations. Our analysis focuses on how emotion appears in online posts, how affect becomes embodied in digital contexts, and how norms are negotiated as people relate to one another about the variations that some of them experience. We offer an analysis grounded in digital affect theory to contribute to health research literature. In particular, we highlight three opportunities for change on the part of health professionals. First, it is important to acknowledge emotion without pathologising emotional responses. Second, it is valuable to engage professionals who have the expertise to foreground emotional aspects of healthcare rather than foregrounding the medical aspects. Third, there is a need to be proactive in signposting people to sources of both online and offline support, acknowledging that living with variations of sex characteristics is a lifelong relational and emotional process.

Les hele artikkelen her:

‘Does anyone else have this?’ The role of emotion in forum discussions about medical conditions affecting sex characteristics, Culture, Health & Sexuality, 23:1, 52-67, DOI: 10.1080/13691058.2019.1688867

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