Advice Online presents a comprehensive study of advice-giving in one particular American Internet advice column, referred to as `Lucy Answers'. The discursive practice investigated is part of a professional and educational health program managed by an American university. The study provides insights into the linguistic realization of both asking for and giving advice in a written form and thus adds to the literature on advice columns as a specific text genre, on advice in health care contexts, and on Internet communication. The book offers a comprehensive literature review of advice in health encounters and other contexts, and uses this knowledge as a basis for comparison. Advice Online demonstrates how qualitative and quantitative research methods can be successfully combined to arrive at a comprehensive analysis of a discursive practice. It provides essential information on advice-giving for researchers, academics and students in the fields of (Internet) communication, media studies, pragmatics, social psychology and counseling. Health educators who work for advice columns or use similar forms of communication will also benefit from the insights gained in this study.
1. Acknowledgments; 2. List of tables and figures; 3. Introduction; 4. Material description: 'Lucy Answers', an American Internet advice column; 5. Literature review on advice; 6. Research questions; 7. The content structure of the response letters and the realization of advice; 8. Aspects of relational work in the response letters; 9. The personal and public dimension of advice-giving in the response letters; 10. Lucy's voice: Constructing the identity of an expert advice-giver; 11. The problem letters by the anonymus advice-seekers; 12. Factors constituting the discursive practice in 'Lucy Answers'; 13. Notes; 14. Appendix: Sample of an XML file; 15. References; 16. Index