Epistemic and methodological challenges in the study of the mobilisation of medical knowledge in online health communities and on social media

Bernardi, R. (Advisor)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesPublic talk, debate, discussion

Description

The discussion paper is a reflection on two major methodological challenges that I encountered in a research project on the epistemic practices of a diabetes online community. The project draws on virtue epistemology to investigate virtues and vices of the mind that guide members of a diabetes online community in forming justified true beliefs, particularly, when they are faced with evidence supporting a low-carb diet against official dietary advice. The first challenge concerns the difficulties of reconciling different epistemologies, i.e. different beliefs about the nature of knowledge and the process of knowing in the search of truth. Patients tend to make judgements about treatment and clinical advice often drawing on their emotional experience with chronic illness. Do we believe the doctor who follows science or do we believe patients who ‘sense’ what might be true for them? The second challenge concerns the ontological inseparability between human and material agencies which might limit our ability to fully investigate the epistemic consequences of Internet technologies. Here I provide an analysis of these challenges using examples from my research project findings followed by a few ideas on how to overcome these challenges.
Period11 Sep 2020
Event titleQualitative Health Research Network Critical Workshop
: Truth, trust and research in health and social care
Event typeWorkshop
LocationLondon, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionNational

Structured keywords

  • Centre for Humanities Health and Science
  • Virtue epistemology
  • Truth
  • Trust
  • online health communities
  • qualitative research
  • Digital Societies
  • Online health communities
  • qualitative research
  • truth
  • trust
  • epistemic practices
  • Health Science and Technology
  • Online health communities
  • qualitative research
  • truth
  • trust
  • epistemic practices
  • MGMT theme Public Services Governance and Management
  • Online health communities
  • qualitative research
  • truth
  • trust
  • epistemic practices
  • MGMT theme Innovation and Digitalisation
  • Online health communities
  • qualitative research
  • truth
  • trust
  • epistemic practices

Keywords

  • Virtue epistemology
  • truth
  • trust
  • online health communities
  • qualitative research