Doing weight: pro-ana and recovery identities in cyberspace


Riley, S., Rodham, K. and Gavin, J., 2009. Doing weight: pro-ana and recovery identities in cyberspace. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 19 (5), pp. 348-359.

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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.


Item Type Articles
CreatorsRiley, S., Rodham, K. and Gavin, J.
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DepartmentsFaculty of Humanities & Social Sciences > Psychology
ID Code19133


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