Blogging and breast cancer: Narrating one's life, body and self on the Internet

M. de Boer*, J. Slatman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Living with breast cancer requires new ways of relating to one's changed self, life and body. The aim of this study is to understand how women with breast cancer make sense of their altered selves while narrating their story on a personal weblog. The methodology used is a qualitative, narrative approach that focuses on subjective experiences as narrated within five sampled weblogs. Four types of self-narration are identified: The Estranged Cancer Patient, The Transient, The Heroic Survivor and The Disfigured Woman/Girl. The progression of these different self-narrations implies a particular process of sense-making by these women: re-appropriating themselves while senses of estrangement linger. This process is co-determined by the specificity of weblogs as a medium. Ultimately, the findings in this study suggest that this mediation both reinforces greater freedom in self-narration - as feminist theorists in the 1990s claimed - yet at the same time, it offers space to affirm stereotypes and conventions. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-25
Number of pages9
JournalWomen's Studies International Forum
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014



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