Use of Social Comparisons in Interviews About Young Adults' Experiences of Chronic Illness.
Qualitative Health Research
© The Author(s) 2014. This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non–Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by–nc/2.0/uk/) which permits unrestricted non–commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
In this article I examine how young adults used social comparisons in research interviews about their experiences of chronic illness. The interviews were originally conducted not only to provide data for academic analysis but also to generate experiential accounts for publication online as part of an Internet-based health information resource for patients, professionals, and the public wanting to learn about people's real-life experiences of illness in the United Kingdom. Through secondary analysis of these data, I show how the young adults used various social comparisons to represent themselves and their experiences to the target audience. Two new concepts-analogues and foils-are introduced to describe how the young adults likened themselves to, and contrasted themselves with, different reference groups in their accounts. Through these and related strategies, they created positive renditions of their experiences for the audience, helping to inform and support others in the process.
Economic and Social Research Council
This is a freely-available open access publication. Please cite the published version which is available via the DOI link in this record.
Qualitative Health Research, 2014, Oct 3