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Title: Expectations in the field of the Internet and health : an analysis of claims about social networking sites in clinical literature
Authors: Koteyko, N.
Hunt, D.
Gunter, Barrie
First Published: 13-Feb-2015
Publisher: Wiley for Foundation for the Sociology of Health and Illness
Citation: Sociology Of Health And Illness, 2015, 37 (3), pp. 468-484 (17)
Abstract: This article adopts a critical sociological perspective to examine the expectations surrounding the uses of social networking sites (SNSs) articulated in the domain of clinical literature. This emerging body of articles and commentaries responds to the recent significant growth in SNS use, and constitutes a venue in which the meanings of SNSs and their relation to health are negotiated. Our analysis indicates how clinical writing configures the role of SNSs in health care through a range of metaphorical constructions that frame SNSs as a tool, a conduit for information and a traversable space. The use of such metaphors serves not only to describe the new affordances offered by SNSs but also posits distinct lay and professional practices, while reviving a range of celebratory claims about the Internet and health critiqued in sociological literature. These metaphorical descriptions characterise SNS content as essentially controllable by autonomous users while reiterating existing arguments that e-health is both inherently empowering and risky. Our analysis calls for a close attention to these understandings of SNSs as they have the potential to shape future online initiatives, most notably by anticipating successful professional interventions while marginalising the factors that influence users’ online and offline practices and contexts.
DOI Link: 10.1111/1467-9566.12203
ISSN: 0141-9889
eISSN: 1467-9566
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Sociology of Health & Illness published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Foundation for Sociology of Health & Illness This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( ), which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Media and Communication

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