Doing weight: pro-ana and recovery identities in cyberspace

Sarah Riley, Karen Rodham, Jeffrey Gavin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper explores the role of online body talk (text-based communication about bodies and bodily experiences) in the management, negotiation and development of eating disorder related identities. Two anorexia related Internet discussion forums (a pro-ana and a recovery website) were analyzed through the means of discourse analysis. The analysis focused on the type of body-talk produced in the different sites and the functions of this talk in relation to eating disorder related identities. Three forms of body talk were identified: descriptions of doing something with the body; descriptions of the body and descriptions of bodily experiences. On both sites these forms of body talk reproduced the thin ideal; demonstrated valid claims of group membership; and, for the pro-ana group, dynamically (re)produced eating disorder related identities through the reframing of health/appearance concerns as markers of success.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-359
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Community & Applied Social Psychology
Volume19
Issue number5
Early online date20 Aug 2009
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2009

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virtual reality
Weights and Measures
eating disorder
Somatotypes
Negotiating
Anorexia
Internet
Communication
Health
anorexia
Feeding and Eating Disorders
group membership
discourse analysis
website
experience
communication
health
management
Group

Cite this

Doing weight: pro-ana and recovery identities in cyberspace. / Riley, Sarah; Rodham, Karen; Gavin, Jeffrey.

In: Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, Vol. 19, No. 5, 09.2009, p. 348-359.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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