Health advice on Twitter Naija: Small stories, identities and (dis)affiliations


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


General Studies


This proposed monograph examines the giving/seeking and receiving of health advice on Twitter Naija through the telling of small stories. The study argues that, in this context of online health advice, Nigerians on Twitter use small stories to represent their medical, cultural, mundane, and subjective knowledge about their or others’ experiences of (ill)health when giving/seeking and receiving advice. Through (ill)health small stories, participants construct identities for self and attribute identity claims to others, and co-construct a sense of community through displaying (dis)affiliative stances towards other participants. With insights from the small stories framework, a paradigm for narrative and identities analysis, and interactional pragmatics, the project undertakes a qualitative textual/discourse analysis of a corpus of small stories retrieved from the Twitter timelines of Nigerian doctors, who give free health advice, and those of their followers and other recipients, respectively. The proposed project will contribute critical knowledge in the areas of health advice communication and storytelling practices on social media from the perspective of discourse analysis.