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Accepted Paper:

Fighting decline - Parkinson, embodied molecules and hope online  

Author:

Annette Leibing (University of Montreal)

Paper short abstract:

In this talk I explore health information circulating on an international email list for people with Parkinson's disease. The dual purpose of the list—of support and knowledge exchange—is shaped by a particular politics of hope, which channels knowledge and projects it into the future.

Paper long abstract:

What are the forces shaping the health information that virtual community members circulate, evaluate and incorporate? In this talk I explore health information circulating on an international, though mainly North American, email list for people suffering from Parkinson's disease. The dual purpose of the list—of support and knowledge exchange—is shaped by a particular politics of hope, which channels knowledge and projects it into the future. At the same time, these politics of hope have a concrete impact on practices and experiences of the present. The List member's bodily sensations are, at least partly, based on what I want to call "embodied molecules"— the effectiveness of interventions (such as medications) created by the List's "cyberbody." Cyberbodies, in this context, are created through the virtual community members' collective embodied learning.

Panel P060
Illuminating Futures of the Life Course through Visual and Digital Media [Age and Generations Network]