Danish conf sociology_2012_amicalizzi

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virtual spaces and lost identities

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Danish conf sociology_2012_amicalizzi

  1. 1. Danish Conference of Sociology 2012 Performing trouble identities AARHUS University 19-20 Genuary 2012 Virtual spaces and lost identities: thetransformative process through e-narratives Alessandra MicalizziIULM University – Communication, behaviour and consumption dept. alessandra.micalizzi@iulm.it
  2. 2. Framing the research… Narrative approach «Narratives live in our mind, they organize our thoughts, they help us to interpret daily experiences and give meaning to our existence» (Di Fraia, 2005) Identity: Internet as NarrativeAs narrative technologyconstruction“Narrative self” Relationship: The results of narratives exchanges
  3. 3. Framing the research… Mediation /protection Post-orality fragmentation Internet as Narrative technology Virtual Intimacy togetherness ParticipationMultiple self Public-private space
  4. 4. Perinatal death mourning From a narrative point of view, it’s a turning point Social context MotherNot-recognition of tragic Signs of matherhoodeventFuture perspective of new Failed expectations andpregnancy desiresNot recognition of the new Certainty that the babyidentities (both as mother as “was” a part of her lifewell as people that lives aloss)
  5. 5. Methodology Qualitative approach Qualitative content25 e-mail interviews analysis Cyber-ethnography
  6. 6. Practices of uses Performing a real identity as a Exit phase “mummy that lost her baby” 5 Conquering new identity as Taking responsibility special mummy phase Participation phase 4 3 Introduction phase 2Acclimatising phase Loosing social identity as “mother” 1
  7. 7. 1. Acclimatising«Initially, I didn‟t sign up, I spent hours reading what others hadwritten, but I was not able to „come out‟! Maybe because to do someant telling myself “It‟s all true, and it really happened and you can‟tgo back. I am also a special mommy and Alice with not come back tome”» Alice‟s mom.• reading other messages (lurking)• finding similar experiences• reflecting on the identity denied (as mother)•Strongly sense of misunderstanding and diversity respect the world“outside”
  8. 8. 2. Introduction«Alice died December 2 and I signed up on January 9, if I remembercorrectly. It was time to face everything, but, most of all, to behugged by other magnificent mommies» Alice‟s mom.• creating an account strictly connected with the identity as “Mother”• retelling the story about the loss (processing mourning)  coactionsto repet• be a part to the community  constructing a sense of community
  9. 9. 3. Participation«Being part of the forum is like having another family in thesense that you belong to a group where personal bonds arestrengthened by sharing difficult experiences and they growwith reciprocal exchange and help! » (Claudia Ravaldi, Lapo‟smommy, meeting facilitator)• common destiny effect  clear difference between the world on and off line•construction of “special mummy identity”• regular narratives exchange•Elective affinity special relations
  10. 10. 4. “Taking responsibility”«Months by months, I started to felt better. I understood I‟m notalone. I was stronger and I was ready to help other special mummies.When I read some stories, stories like mine, I thought and I said toothers “I‟m the living witness that you can go through”» Marta‟smom.• narratives more focused on answering others and not in speakingabout personal emotions• re-appropriation of real life (new or old interests)  personalidentity• re-building relational links social identity
  11. 11. 5. Exit«I‟m not ready yet to abandon the forum. I can‟t think me without mynew virtual friends. But I think, may be a day, I‟ll spend less time onthe Net and I‟ll start again to live» Paola‟s mom.• desire to “normality”• less sense of dependence from the forum• reduction of the presence on the forum
  12. 12. Performing new identities Identity level • searching for the identity as mother, denied outside of the Net • processing the mourning: coping by • auto-biographical narration • sharing the narration (reflection on self by the glance of others) • reconstructing new identity, involving also the Real life Loss Coherent First search on the Net Exit narratives about the selfBorder on/off Taking responsibility Participation Acclimatising Introduction

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