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The Web of Loneliness: A Netnographic Study of Narratives of Being Alone in an Online Context
University of Gothenburg.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sport Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1631-6475
2017 (English)In: Social Sciences, ISSN 2076-0760, E-ISSN 2076-0760, Vol. 6, no 3, article id 101Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Using a netnographic and case-study-based approach, this article uses different blogs as data in order to analyse how loneliness is conceptualized and understood. More precisely, the study aims to investigate experiences of loneliness and related themes in the context of online communication. In approaching the nature of loneliness, we have analytically leaned on the theories and some of the most basic assumptions of symbolic interactionism, according to which, social encounters and situations, their qualities and their existence, have a profound impact on emotional life. This study can be read as an archaeology of online loneliness and the findings suggest that the experiences of online loneliness can be categorized in different genres, such as the poetics of loneliness, the diagnostics and self-harm of loneliness, and loneliness and family life. Although loneliness is approached and discussed differently, the bloggers’ estranged relationships to society tie these identified genres of loneliness together. The different genres derive their character, form and social dynamics from the narrators’ struggle and urge to somehow find a way to fit into contemporary society and achieve satisfying social relationships. Furthermore, displaying and presenting the self, and thus becoming the object of other people’s attention and interest, in the context of online communication, can be a profound way of reconnecting to society and hopefully avoiding isolation and marginalization.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Basel, Switzerland: MDPI , 2017. Vol. 6, no 3, article id 101
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Social Sciences, Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-67672DOI: 10.3390/socsci6030101OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-67672DiVA, id: diva2:1137894
Available from: 2017-09-01 Created: 2017-09-01 Last updated: 2018-01-31Bibliographically approved

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Andreasson, Jesper

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CiteExportLink to record
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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