The project is now over. I would like to thank all who were involved in this study in one way or another. Particularly all the bloggers that took part, those who contacted me, who answered my questions and those who did not. Reading blogs has for me been an important aspect of my life during the last 5 months. I will read on. In addition, I will update this blog once in a while about news or ideas I find interesting.
Today I did a short presentation in the Research in Progress day held by the Deparment. This included an overview of the project and some reference to the study I have done so far. It went well and I received some valuable feedback, regarding my standpoint in particular and how this should be communicated clearly in the project. It was suggested, and I have come to agree with that after the first month of the research, that looking into how feminisms are articulated through the blogs of disabled/ill women might not be the road I want to follow. Politics are important and the question still remains how blogging serves as an activist practice for women, I will just not be accessing whether or not bloggers identify with feminisms.
At this point, I have also included Astrid’s Journal from Nederland and The Beauty Offensive from Britain in my corpus list, in an effort to make the study more Europe-focused. I have had great difficulty tracking down blogs written by women concerning disability/illness that are either from the UK or continental Europe. Disability carnivals and blogrols from more popular blogs link mostly to US based or Canadian bloggers. I assume that European bloggers use languages other than english and given that I could only read either English or Greek (my dutch and french are really inadequate for anything but tourism), I am scanning for greek disabled women bloggers(I have so far looked for αναπηρία, τύφλωση, σκλήρυνση κατά πλάκας).
This post then is an open call for anyone who knows of disabled-mentally ill, chronically ill, impaired-women european bloggers. Also, an invitation still for communicating through the questions I posted previously.
In order to understand better how the authors of the blogs I study for the dissertation see the activity of blogging, I have come up with some questions. These are focused on the process of blogging and how important it is as a way of communication. Please take some time to answet them and send your answers to me by email (qsputnik [at] hotmail [dot] com ) or right here as a comment if this is better for you. These are anonymous but please provide the blog you come from so I know who you are and come back to you later.
Thank you in advance.
1. What is blogging for you? What value does it have in your life?
2. How long have you been blogging
3. How would you say it has helped you personally
4. What other ways of Computer Mediated Communication do you use (for example personal webpage, Chat, social networks)
5. How do you value blogging over other ways of communicating through the internet?
This will be mainly a journal for the disseration process and place to communicate with the participants of the study if they choose to. The study will be asking
- how different identities come together online
- whether communicating embodied experience through blogs aids understanding and diversity
- how can blogs serve as an inclusion tool
The method used will be discourse analysis and online interviews which I hope to do through this blog. I have decided to read women with impairments, disabilities, mental health problems and chronic illnesses (which all are forced into the category ‘disability’ for economy reasons). The reason for that is that even though I understand and respect the obvious differences between conditions and embodied experiences, I decided that the shared experiences are more important to me here.
‘…[T]here are many points of connection between very different people rooted in their shared experiences of biomedical inscription, pain, social isolation and political and economic marginalisation’ (Parr and Butler 1999, Mind and Body Spaces: Geographies of illness, impairment and disability, Routledge: 2)
The outline and title will be submitted on the 23rd May 08.