Fostering "Digital Subjectivity": an investigation of digital health narratives in Norway, the Netherlands and Czechia

JMWJ Lamerichs*, Hege Andreassen, Lucie Kluzova Kracmarova, Manna Alma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


To be able to tell the story of your illness, as well as relating to the stories of others, has always been important in people’s subjective handling of illness. In the digital age, this practice is extended to the Internet. Today there are various resources offering people possibilities to share and access health and illness narratives online. In this chapter we will look into empirical material from one particular resource, the researcher-driven national sites of DIPEx International. Based on empirical accounts from patients who have shared their narratives on the sites as well as those of its users, we provide insight into what digital health narratives might mean to people who are actually experiencing health challenges. The analysis exposes three core aspects of subjective illness formation that were related to the digital narratives: embodiment, normality and language. Approaching our empirical data through the theoretical lens of “digital subjectivity” allows for an understanding that moves beyond the conceptualisation of digital narratives as instrumental for information sharing only. Furthermore, the perspective also highlights how the distinction between online and offline practices is less relevant or fruitful when considering subjective formations of illness in contemporary society.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNavigating Digital Health Landscapes
Subtitle of host publicationA multidisciplinary analysis
EditorsAnna Lydia Svalastog, Srecko Gajovic, Andrew Webster
Place of PublicationCheltenham, UK
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan UK
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9789811582066
ISBN (Print)9789811582059
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

Publication series

NameHealth, Technology and Society book series (HTE)
PublisherPalgrave & Macmillan


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