Social Support and Unsolicited Advice in a Bipolar Disorder Online Forum
ABSTRACT How does a newly diagnosed user get inducted into a forum dedicated to people suffering from bipolar disorder? Is their opening message "matched" by the forum's reply? We add to the literature on social support online by using conversation analysis (CA) to explore an apparent contradiction between a new user's first post and forum members' replies with ostensibly unsolicited advice. CA reveals the intimate relation between turns in sequence, an aspect of online communication largely ignored in existing work on social support. Seen from this perspective, giving unsolicited advice, although apparently a "mismatch," turns out to be a consequence of the open design of the new user's initial posting. We speculate that such unsolicited advice might function at the ideological level to induct the new user into the mores of the group, not only in the kind of support it countenances giving, but into the very meaning of bipolarity itself.
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ABSTRACT: Online social networking might facilitate the establishment of social contacts for people with psychosis, who are often socially isolated by the symptoms and consequences of their disorder.International Journal of Social Psychiatry 11/2014; DOI:10.1177/0020764014556392 · 1.15 Impact Factor
Zeitschrift für Germanistische Linguistik 01/2014; 42(2). DOI:10.1515/zgl-2014-0014
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ABSTRACT: We examine members' spontaneous accounts for joining and participating in an online emo forum. The Internet and social networking sites are central features of contemporary youth cultures; the analysis of interaction on emo forums can thus provide a way of appreciating emo as a ‘Community in Practice’. We analyse popular discussion threads collected from a key emo website, using membership categorisation and conversation analysis. In these threads, members introduce themselves and account for joining and posting pictures in response to a prior request to do so. Analysis shows that newbies establish their emo attributes and hence entitlement to participate while dismissing emo-related motivation for joining the forum, claiming instead a desire to relieve boredom. Participants similarly accounted for posting photos of themselves and for producing fan pics as due to boredom. We show how claiming to be bored allows members to engage with the group while negotiating potentially problematic inferences that attend subcultural membership. We conclude that our approach provides a useful methodology for furthering our understanding of an important aspect of contemporary youth subcultures.Journal of Youth Studies 10/2014; 18(3):1-17. DOI:10.1080/13676261.2014.944115 · 1.38 Impact Factor