Impression management work: How seniors with chronic pain address disruptions in their interactions

Alison Benjamin*, Jeremy Birnholtz, Ronald Baecker, Diane Gromala, Andrea Furlan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Chronic pain is an illness that affects nearly a third of senior citizens. Uncontrolled chronic pain can manifest constantly and/or intermittently, and can disrupt seniors' ability to plan or to maintain synchronous and scheduled contact with others. Such disruptions can expose seniors to stigma from others who do not understand this illness, social isolation, and a range of challenges to their social autonomy. We present results from an interview study of 27 seniors with chronic pain exploring how they mitigate and manage these disruptions in their lives. Drawing on Goffman's theory of impression management, we found that participants invested significant effort into controlling both the context of interactions and others' expectations, in order to mitigate the potential negative social consequences of disruptions. In performing this work, seniors were selective about what information they revealed to others about their chronic pain and availability. Given such efforts, seniors with chronic pain have unique needs for technologies to support their social interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCSCW'12 - Proceedings of the ACM 2012 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work
Pages799-808
Number of pages10
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 19 2012
EventACM 2012 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW'12 - Seattle, WA, United States
Duration: Feb 11 2012Feb 15 2012

Other

OtherACM 2012 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW'12
CountryUnited States
CitySeattle, WA
Period2/11/122/15/12

Keywords

  • accessibility
  • awareness
  • chronic pain
  • impression management
  • interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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