Communities and Collections

"Tomorrow I Will be Better": A Corpus-Assisted Discourse Study of Diet Communities on Reddit

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  • As the advancement of the Internet has led to rapid growth in online communities, diet forums have been no exception. However, there has been minimal comparative and discursive research conducted on the relationship between user identity and information behaviours between forums. The objective of this project is to examine the information behaviours of users who belong to three online dieting communities through the frameworks of Harré and van Langenhove’s (1999) positioning theory and Hersberger, Murray, and Rioux’s (2007) conceptual framework of information behaviours in virtual communities. Corpus-assisted discourse studies (CADS) will be used as a methodological tool to analyze the information behaviours of members of three virtual diet communities from the social media platform Reddit: LoseIt, Keto, and 1200isPlenty. Three months of forum posts will be gathered and their discourse will be thematically coded for analysis using qualitative data analysis software. It is believed that this study will find that members of virtual diet communities have used discourse in their information practices as a way to situate themselves within communities. It is also believed that the ways in which users situate themselves will differ between forums. Ultimately, the goal of this project is to illustrate the online information behaviours of members of virtual diet communities, and the ways in which they employ discourse in these environments to construct their identities. By studying the unique relationship that online dieters have with themselves and others in an online environment, health information professionals will be better equipped to create timely and effective consumer health resources.

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  • Type of Item
    Conference/Workshop Poster
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  • License
    Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International