Researching Experiences of Cancer Risk Through Online Blogs: A Reflexive Account of Working Toward Ethical Practice

Emily Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

By providing space to document personal narratives and hold virtual discussions, the Internet represents a fruitful resource for sociologists of health and illness. However, the use of social media content for research entails complex ethical considerations. Due to the fluidity of online material, existing ethical guidelines advise a deliberative approach. However, this has led to disparity in the use of social media resources within the social sciences.
I share an account of ‘doing ethics’ for qualitative research with blogs focused on hereditary cancer risk. Blogging emerged as cathartic for authors, but also a means of accessing support. Blogs may thus be construed as constitutive and not only representative of cancer (risk) experience. Ethical questions surround anonymity, and the appropriation of authors’ accounts beyond the context in which they are composed. By sharing reflections on working with hereditary cancer risk blogs, I contribute to the continued reflexivity of social media researchers.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Aug 2019

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Researching Experiences of Cancer Risk Through Online Blogs: A Reflexive Account of Working Toward Ethical Practice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this