"Starving for Identity: A Grounded Analysis of the Pro-Anorexia Movement"


"The present research used grounded theory to critically analyze the pro-anorexia movement. 24 pro-anorexia websites were systematically coded for a unifying emergent theory. The findings indicate that the pro-ana cyber community represents a collective effort to establish a shared social understanding or identity among individuals who feel confused, isolated or subjugated - and have significant issues with food and weight. Pro-anorexia websites provide users a new context to enhance or redefine their self-concepts and/or stigmatized identity. Pro-anorexia subscription affords the opportunity to create and validate an identity that is protected under a shroud of technological anonymity. Interestingly, there seems to be two dominant pro-anorexia accounts or perspectives. One account seems to emphasize pro-anorexia as a sanctuary, and a means to gain a deeper understanding of their disease or disorder ... The second account uses pro-anorexia involvement to espouse thinness and venerate anorexia (sometimes as a lifestyle choice)."

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Gregory Scott Kerwin

Location: TBA

* The presentation is open to the public; admission is free.

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