Whenever things are tough, I like to think about the positives. So, in the spirit of gratitude, I am sharing four positives to come out of COVID-19 for me.
When I share my thesis title…. "the self, selfies and health identities" with interested persons it is notably only the brave (or those with time to spare) who venture to pose the question "what is identity?"
It is a question not easily answered. And one I certainly didn't know how to answer at the start of this PhD journey.
Health sociologist, Aaron Antonovsky coined the term salutogenesis in 1979 when he published his research into "how people stay well". The term salutogenesis stems from Latin, salus (health, wellbeing) and Greek, genesis (origin); literally meaning 'originating with health'; it's the opposite of pathogenesis, which means 'originating with disease' as the Greek word, pathos, means suffering, disease. The contrast between staying well and preventing disease may be subtle but is vital and necessitates a change of focus from the medicalised view of health and illness.
The Selfies & Health project recently received approval from the Western Sydney University Human Research Ethics Committee. The Committee, made up of academics from a variety of disciplines across the University, considers that the project meets the standards of the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research. Receiving ethical approval is an important milestone for a researcher for a couple of reasons.
Embodied methodologies have been described as those that attend "to the bodily and fleshy aspects of storytelling and talk" (Chadwick, 2017). This is a slightly academic way to describe methods of research that not only talk (or write) about the body but that also pays attention to the part that the body plays in the experiences we have.