llness Politics and Hashtag Activism

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Lisa Diedrich

Illness Politics and Hashtag Activism explores illness and disability in action on social media, analyzing several popular hashtags as examples of how illness figures in recent U.S. politics. Lisa Diedrich shows how illness- and disability-oriented hashtags serve as portals into how and why illness and disability are sites of political struggle and how illness politics is informed by, intersects with, and sometimes stands in for sexual, racial, and class politics. She argues that illness politics is central—and profoundly important—to both mainstream and radical politics, and she investigates the dynamic intersection of media and health and health-activist practices to show how their confluence affects our perception and understanding of illness.

Series design with a Twitter-blue background and white title text.

Background photo by Michael Guerrero on Pexels.


  • rights
    A previous version of chapter 2 appeared as “Weaponizing Weakness, Diagnosing by Gif,” on Nursing Clio, August 12, 2020, nursingclio.org, CC-BY-NC-SA. A previous version of chapter 5 appeared as “Illness (In)action: CFS and #TimeForUnrest,” in Literature and Medicine 39, no. 1 (Spring 2021): 8–14; copyright Johns Hopkins University Press.

    Illness Politics and Hashtag Activism by Lisa Diedrich is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.