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Accepted Paper:

Self-care experiments in everyday life with type 1 diabetes: how online interaction inspires tinkering in everyday chronic care homework   
Natasja Kingod (Steno Diabetes Center A/S/Department of Anthropology, Copenhagen)

Paper short abstract:

Online communities on Facebook for people with type 1 diabetes work as a database on ‘lived knowledge’ – a unique space for peer interaction in daily life with possibility to empower individuals in their everyday self-care.

Paper long abstract:

Online communities for people with type 1 diabetes are increasing in Denmark as well as worldwide, opening up a virtual space through which exchange of experience, social support and connections among peers are made possible. Especially peer interaction through Facebook is valued among Danish adults with type 1 diabetes as a fast way to exchange experience in the everyday chronic care homework entailed by their illness. This study investigates how virtual and non-virtual dimensions are interlinked by exploring processes and practices of knowledge production and social support in Facebook communities. Data has been gathered through ethnographic fieldwork based on online and offline methods such as online observations of Facebook communities for people with type 1 diabetes, practice-near face-to-face interviews and participant observations among peer groups. Findings indicate that adults with type 1 diabetes exchange experiential knowledge online developed from everyday tinkering and experimentation. These experiments are carried out as the explicit knowledge obtained from health care professionals is considered insufficient to navigate everyday life with the illness. People with type 1 diabetes inspire, encourage and motivate each other to explore, manipulate and tinker with their diabetes self-care. This study reveals how they adapt technological diabetes-specific devices in order to fit them to everyday individual situations and contexts. The embodied experiential knowledge achieved from self-care experiments reciprocates across online and offline boundaries producing a situated and embodied 'lived knowledge' tailored to individual needs and everyday contexts.

Panel P038
The self-management of chronic disease: critical perspectives [MAN]
  Session 1