Adolescent online trouble-talk: Help-seeking in cyberspace
Mirjam Knapik, University of Calgary , Canada
University of Calgary . Awarded
This project was responsive to a call for investigations of online interactions between young people and mental health service providers. I specifically examined online interactions generated by teens and trained peer counsellors over the course of one year, on a website sponsored by a professional agency. I applied a discursive and interaction oriented analytic approach to an activity that I broadly identified as trouble-talk. Using a discursive approach informed by ideas from ethnomethodology and conversation analysis. I analyzed what discursive practices and discourses-in-practice young people observably deployed and what they were accomplishing in their exchanges. In addition, I drew on readings that offered a sociocultural and dialogical perspective in order to address the multiplicity of voices and audiences toward which interactants appeared to be responding. I specifically considered how posters drew on descriptions of selves and inner worlds to engage in this asynchronous form of engagement. Interactants were observably oriented toward accomplishing three main forms of participation. I offer critical consideration of how the observed actions were related to this particular form of mediated interaction, the institutional nature of the exchanges, and how this impacted what knowledges and voices would be privileged. I consider what these findings contribute to our understanding of peer counselling, adolescent participation in dialogue, online counselling, and the counselling profession more broadly.
Knapik, M. Adolescent online trouble-talk: Help-seeking in cyberspace. Ph.D. thesis, University of Calgary.
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