Affordable Access

The construction of self in online support groups for victims of domestic violence.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
The British journal of social psychology / the British Psychological Society
Publication Date
Volume
46
Issue
Pt 4
Pages
859–874
Identifiers
PMID: 17535449
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

In this article, we use the exemplar of domestic violence to examine the construction of self online. To do this, a positional approach to language is combined with a Bakhtinian inspired, phenomenological approach to language. Such an approach is designed to capture both the rhetorical and the intoned quality of language. This approach also draws attention to the role of the assumed community in dialogically interrupting and reflexively structuring the construction of self online. From this conceptual perspective, we examine a variety of posted messages to the public bulletin boards of a number of different online support groups for domestic violence. Three interpenetrating analytic themes emerged from this analysis: (1) The construction of self in relation to online support group members; (2) The construction of self in relation to abuser and (3) The construction of self in relation to past self. These themes are explicated over four key extracts. These extracts are also analysed in terms of the insights they offer into the phenomenological, positional and dialogical dimensions of an utterance directed at a community.

Statistics

Seen <100 times