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Developing a carer identity and negotiating everyday life through social networking sites: An explorative study on identity constructions in an online Swedish carer community
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Health and Caring Sciences.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sport Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1631-6475
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Health and Caring Sciences.
2017 (English)In: Ageing & Society, ISSN 0144-686X, E-ISSN 1469-1779Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

An overarching reason why carers do not utilise support services is that many people who perform care-giving do not necessarily self-identify as a carer. Understanding the development of carer identities is therefore crucial for the utilisation of different carer-focused health services. This study arose from the European Union-funded INNOVAGE project and aimed to describe how older carers conceptualise and understand their identity as carers on a Swedish online social forum. Theoretically the study adopts a constructionist approach and the method of netnography was applied. The findings reveal that a change in self-perception occurs in the process through which a carer role is acquired. The presence or absence of recognition for the older carers’ capacity, knowledge and life situation is seen as filtered through the needs of the care recipient, making the carer identity into an invisible self. This is not least the case when the identity is constructed in alliance with conceptual and moral obligations found within a marital discourse. Nevertheless, the opportunity for online communication may help to create a virtual space of social recognition through which different experiences attached to caring can be discussed. The significance of online communication is here understood as the possibility it presents for carers to be recognised by other carers. It is a process through which an invisible self can become visible.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge University Press, 2017.
National Category
Nursing Sociology
Research subject
Social Sciences, Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-64980DOI: 10.1017/S0144686X17000551OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-64980DiVA: diva2:1106806
Available from: 2017-06-08 Created: 2017-06-08 Last updated: 2017-07-25

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Andréasson, FridaAndreasson, JesperHanson, Elizabeth
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Department of Health and Caring SciencesDepartment of Sport Science
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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf