Exploring wellbeing in yarn-based amateur craftswomen who make alone and share online

MAYNE, Alison (2018). Exploring wellbeing in yarn-based amateur craftswomen who make alone and share online. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.7190/shu-thesis-00175


This qualitative, interpretive study explores women’s views on the impact that amateur knit or crochet and the sharing of such making through the social media platform Facebook™ has on their subjective wellbeing. Focus within the Academy on textiles made by women amateurs is limited, as is explicit study of the impact knit or crochet may have on subjective perceptions of wellbeing – a concept which itself is associated with contentious definitions. The ways in which amateur yarncrafters connect in Facebook™ groups to share their making is a significantly under-researched area: Recent studies have begun to address the benefits as well as drawbacks of engagement in digital communities, whilst identifying gaps in understanding its use by mature women. To facilitate this ethnographic research, a ‘closed’ Facebook™ group was created where participants could engage with the researcher. Thematic coding was used to support the analysis of the data consisting of threads generated by questions posed by the researcher, alongside discussions and questions created by participants. Findings confirmed that both making in knit or crochet and sharing within a Facebook™ group contributed to feelings of connection and community, but also could exacerbate loneliness; making could help engage participants in a worthwhile activity, but could also lead to frustration; there was joy in giving to others, but conflicting emotions about keeping yarn for the self; negative impacts on feelings of wellbeing were shared, illustrating how amateur making could also lead to physical pain and emotionally destructive thinking. Several contributions to knowledge are claimed: The method of using Facebook™ as both a platform for gathering and the topic of data contributes to debate on the ethics of participation; The thesis offers an exploration of some of the ways the haptic, tactile nature of making by hand is articulated and mediated through digital means in a Facebook™ group; Most significantly, alongside its confirmation of positive benefits, the study presents the negative impact amateur making in knit and crochet may have on subjective perceptions of wellbeing.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Adam, Alison
Additional Information: Director of Studies/Supervisor - Alison Adam
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.7190/shu-thesis-00175
Depositing User: Louise Beirne
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2019 15:31
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2021 13:31
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/24663

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