Chapter 1 A theory of collective intimacy: Lisa Melonçon and Lora Arduser

What is the most important takeaway from your chapter? 

Recent methodologies need to expand to account for moving across modalities and communities so RHM can gain insights into more generalizable ways communication in health and medicine works.

If you were making discussion questions for students (advanced undergraduates or early graduate students) to go along with your chapter, what would they be?  

  1. Pick two different health conditions and find an online community for each. Use collective intimacy or one of its characteristics to analyze that discourse.
  2. What do you see as the consequences of theory building for RHM, as demonstrated by collective intimacy?
  3. What is at stake in RHM when there is blurring between the public and the private?

What questions do you feel your chapter leaves un-examined or where would you go with it next? 

We would love to see people pick up collective intimacy and try it out as a way to analyze discourses. So what’s left un-examined is that collective intimacy is a theory that needs to be “tested” to see how it could work. We see potential for just some of the characteristics being used at any one time, and we also feel it has potential for all kinds of work in RHM.

Is there anything that you want those considering doing work in MHR to know? 

Understanding language, its power and movement, is key to figuring out how to get information to people who need it when they need it. As we are in the midst of something of a mental health crisis, it’s imperative we understand more about information construction, circulation, and use.