Linguistic Profiling
for Professionals
  • Print

Laughing at cancer together: community-building in an online support forum

B30, Trent Building
Wednesday 22nd February 2017 (15:30-16:30)
Demjen_Poster 466x657

‘Laughing at cancer together: community-building in an online support forum’

By Dr Zsófia Demjen, UCL

Wednesday 22 February, 15.30 - 16.30

Room B40, Trent Building, University Park

In the context of cancer, humour and joking can still be socially unacceptable. Yet, people with cancer sometimes find comfort in making light of their often life-threatening situations, especially when they are amongst themselves. In this talk, I discuss humorous anecdotes and metaphor scenarios on a thread entitled “For those with a warped sense of humour WARNING- no punches pulled here”, hosted on a UK-based online forum dedicated to cancer. The thread has 68 contributors, who produced over half a million words in over 2500 posts (roughly 90% by patients). I focus on the functions of these humorous interactions and show how, through their co-created nature and metaphorical entailments, they create a sense of solidarity and community in a situation where people can feel isolated.

I work at the intersections of language, mind and health(care), exploring mental/physical illness. Examining the language of patients, carers, healthcare professionals, journalists, poets, writers, etc. I focus on how they say what they say to understand what it means to be unwell today.

Linguistic Profiling for Professionals

Centre for Research in Applied Linguistics
The University of Nottingham
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone:+44 (0) 115 748 6360
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 5924