SELF-PRESENTATION PROCESSES IN PERSONAL PROFILES IN A PRO-ANOREXIA GROUP


Resumen


This paper presents the results of a content analysis of 1000 personal profiles posted on a pro-anorexia (pro-ana) group from the social networking site Xanga. Applying methods of computer-mediated communication discourse analysis, the visual and verbal strategies of self-presentation in pro-ana members’ profiles were examined. Competence, ingratiation, exemplification and supplication emerged as the main self-presentation strategies identified in the text-based profiles. In contrast to other online self-presentations (such as personal home pages and weblogs), new contents and meanings related to a pro-ana social identity were assigned to these strategies in the group. The analysis of the profile pictures revealed that pro-ana users of the site tended to remain visually anonymous, resorting to images of models and celebrities, and reproducing the thin ideal. Based on these findings, this study advances some conclusions about how the pro-ana identity is constructed in social networking sites.


Palabras clave


eating disorders, pro-anorexia, personal profiles, self-presentation, social networking sites, profile pictures

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