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Right now I’m completing my dissertation: an investigation of the production of medical knowledge among lay people in online social spaces. I am conducting a virtual ethnography, including offline interviews, of two prominent online health communities. My analysis focuses on how sufferers (co-)construct and negotiate knowledge about three chronic pain conditions: arthritis, migraine, and back pain. More broadly, the project seeks to extend research in sociology of knowledge and expertise by clarifying how non-experts collaboratively produce expert-like knowledge.
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