Narrative Genre and Health in the Digital Society

JMWJ Lamerichs, Anna Lydia Svalastog*, Anne Leonora Blaakilde, Oystein Ringstad

*Corresponding author for this work

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


This chapter argues that personal health narratives (PHN) work as a narrative genre of key importance in present day society. As society has become digital and global, personal stories have entered the public sphere through homepages and social media. In addition, societal institutions (the media as well as a variety of public and private institutions) use PHN when communicating content. As the PHN is used for different purposes in different contexts we have found it important to argue for discrete PHN sub-genres. Our argument is that the context in which the PHN is told is formative, and that the PHN carries with it aims that differ and carries different meanings of importance. In addition the authorship of a PHN is affected by the context in which it is presented. The examples discussed are drawn from the clinical situation, blogs and edited news media. The chapter draws on folklore, social anthropology and socio-linguistics/discourse analysis to explore these processes, and does so to contribute to the book’s overall understanding of the digital landscape and voices heard therein.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNavigating Digital Health Landscapes
Subtitle of host publicationA Multidisciplinary Analysis
EditorsAnna Svalastog, Srecko Gajovic, Andrew Webster
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan UK
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9789811582066
ISBN (Print)9789811582059
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021
Event6th international meeting of the Navigating Knowledge Landscapes Research Network - VU Faculty of Humanities, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 14 Dec 201714 Dec 2017

Publication series

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


Other6th international meeting of the Navigating Knowledge Landscapes Research Network
Abbreviated titleNKL meeting Amsterdam
Internet address


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