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ONLINE QUALITATIVE RESEARCH IN CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY AND MENTAL HEALTH: Exploring Online Social Identities for People With CFS/ME: Exploring Online Social Identities for People With CFS/ME

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther

  • Alice Kennedy
Original languageEnglish
StateAccepted/In press - 20 Sep 2018
EventQualitative Research in Mental Health 7 - Berlin, Germany


ConferenceQualitative Research in Mental Health 7
Abbreviated titleQRMH7
Chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) is a contested condition that causes physical symptoms, most notably fatigue, and restriction in roles. Having a contested condition means facing scepticism, stigma and disbelief. Online forums enabled exploration of how people with CFS/ME negotiate and construct social identities when speaking amongst themselves, in naturally occurring talk. Discourse analysis is used to explore how people re-construct social identities to incorporate their experiences of CFS/ME. The findings illustrated how people with CFS/ME raised the social status of their in-group through constructing themselves as having limited self-efficacy to renegotiate their roles to persuade the out-groups of family, friends and doctors that they were seriously ill and to position themselves as experts in CFS/ME. Notably, in contrast to much previous researcher-mediated studies, posters considered psychological factors as exacerbating or causing CFS/ME. Implications for applied work are discussed.

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