Medical crowdfunding and the communication of health-related financial needs in digital environments

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-12-19
Identifier: 
etd20683
Keywords: 
Medical crowdfunding
Qualitative analysis
Illness narratives
Ethics
Digital environments
Abstract: 

Thousands of Canadians have turned to medical crowdfunding to ask for financial support from others for health-related needs. The popularity and high visibility of medical crowdfunding does not come without criticism that has drawn attention to ethical and equity issues inherent to this practice. In this thesis I present two qualitative analyses that explore how health-related financial needs are communicated in these new digital and online environments. First, a thematic analysis of the campaign narratives written by Canadians seeking funds to diagnose, treat, or manage Lyme disease reveals what is written about their health and financial needs to encourage others to donate. Second, interviews with 14 Canadian print news journalists explores three types of responsibilities they hold when writing stories based on medical crowdfunding campaigns. Both analyses contribute to the growing literature on crowd studies and how digital environments are evolving as dynamic spaces for communicating about health.

Document type: 
Thesis
Rights: 
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes. Copyright remains with the author.
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Valorie Crooks
Department: 
Environment: Department of Geography
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.
Statistics: