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'Pro-Ana' as negotiating (Dis)order in cyberspace : how women reproduce, restructure, and challenge 'Psy' discourse

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'Pro-Ana' as negotiating (Dis)order in cyberspace : how women reproduce, restructure, and challenge 'Psy' discourse

Allen, Jodie Toni (2006) 'Pro-Ana' as negotiating (Dis)order in cyberspace : how women reproduce, restructure, and challenge 'Psy' discourse. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Current literature on the topic of anorexia is dominated by the disciplines of psy, which has meant that the practice of self-starvation is viewed as originating from the pathological nature of the individual ; divorcing the experience of anorexia from the very social and cultural backdrop from within which it emerges. Contrastingly, socio-cultural approaches to anorexia have focused on the contextual features of the disorder that relate to the historical specificity of our contemporary condition. This has often meant that self-starving is conceptualized as the result of women either over-conforming to, or resisting, the cultural ideal of the slim body. The complexity of anorexic practice is neglected when it is discursively positioned in this way because there is a multiplicity of discourses which constitute the anorexic's subjectivity. Due to the fact that psy discourse has particular influence on the anorexic experience this thesis employs a critical discourse analytic approach to explore how women, in the pro-anorexia internet community, negotiate their subjectivity through reproducing, restructuring, and challenging the discursive constructions of psy which are produced by the DSM-IV. The transgressive nature of the pro-ana community has meant that its members have been framed as either oppressed or liberated, as cultural dupes or as active agents; demonstrating a pattern which mirrors the same binary logic that has surrounded discussions of the 'anorexic' for decades. Through transcending these limitations, the findings of this study are used to articulate an alternative viewpoint of the community which challenges the dominant discourses which surround it at present.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Sociology and Anthropology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Allen, Jodie Toni
Pagination:vi, 191, [40] leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Sociology and Anthropology
Date:2006
Thesis Supervisor(s):deCourville Nicol, Valérie
ID Code:9082
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 14:44
Last Modified:18 Aug 2011 14:54
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