People ask me ”what is your project all about”? Well, here’s my answer.
The project is about post-stroke aphasia and identity, online and offline. Aphasia is a language disorder caused by a brain injury. The most common cause is stroke. Post-stroke aphasia affects some 10.000 people in Sweden every year, of which about a third are between 18 and 65.
Aphasia can be understood not only as losing your language but also as being deprived of your identity, since the language is the mediating tool we use to construct our identities.
Online communication is a key to inclusion and participation in the Swedish democratic society. 80% of the Swedish population use the Internet on a daily basis. Hence, it is fair to assume that a large proportion of the people living with aphasia have been Internet users and that being an internet user formed an important part of their identities pre-stroke.
The aim of this study is therefore to examine how working-age Swedish Internet users with post-stroke aphasia construct their identity offline and online.
Nine participants with post-stroke aphasia are included in the project. They are between 26 and 61 years old. Data consists of transcribed interviews and posts from online social media. The analysis is qualitative and performed using the software Nvivo.
At this point (eg March 2016) the project has been going on for a year and a half. The main focus right now is summarizing the results and writing two articles. Hopefully, the results will also soon be presented at some international conference.