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Affective coding: Strategies of online steganography in fathers’ mental health disclosure

Das, Ranjana and Hodkinson, Paul (2019) Affective coding: Strategies of online steganography in fathers’ mental health disclosure New Media and Society.

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This paper introduces the idea of 'affective coding' as a form of affectively-loaded, digital social steganography – a form of hiding messages – as it presents findings from interviews with new fathers struggling to cope with and disclose mental illnesses, against the context of cultures of silencing. While previous expositions of online social steganography have considered its role in privacy management or its employment in concealing identities, we conceptualize affective coding as an agentic and discursive-material digital practice of attempted revelation, occupying a liminal space between silence and more explicit attempts to reach out, disclose and seek support. Our findings show men undertaking a range of seemingly minor online acts, each demonstrating subtle strategies of managing self-disclosure and social media architecture, and each encoded with a substantial amount of affective investment. We discuss motivations, strategies and outcomes of affective coding, before discussing its significance for self-disclosure in platform societies.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Sociology
Authors :
Date : 21 August 2019
DOI : 10.1177/1461444819869611
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2019 SAGE Publications
Uncontrolled Keywords : Social steganography; Mental health; Fathers; Men; Self-disclosure; Affect
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 01 Aug 2019 09:32
Last Modified : 29 Aug 2019 10:30

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