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date: 21 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

In this chapter we present a methodological template for the use of video diaries (vlogs) as data in social science research, with a particular eye toward the selection, coding, and analysis of vlogs as data. Amid the sea of YouTube content, vlogs provide a medium for ordinary people to tell and share sobering stories about coming to terms with profound life events. YouTube vlogs that present individuals’ experiences with illness are a case in point. Considered as illness narratives, vlogs afford a new way to both document and study the experience of illness. Of importance to us here, vlogs project the physical body into cyberspace in ways that shape how “wounded storytellers” (Frank 1995) perform their illness. Beyond the specifics of our empirical case, therefore, a study of illness vlogs is relevant to body scholars interested in the representation and construction of bodies in online spaces.

Keywords: illness experience, YouTube, Goffman, narrative analysis, methods, bodies

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