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Boy You Thinspire Me: The Website and Forum Boys With ED (Eating Disorders)
Södertörn University, School of Culture and Communication.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study has been to highlight the website and forum Boys With ED (Eating Disorders), to give us a deeper understanding of the structure, content and member activity as it is seen at the forum, and to show how these aspects interplay with each other. The report is divided into two parts. Part one is about Internet theory and practice. By having had a closer look at how the forum is structurally built up, with regard to the services, guidelines and functions, information is given regarding how the platform itself might affect the member activity held there. The question whether participation at the forum might enhance extreme views among its members has been answered, as well as how the members choose to integrate media material from other resources. Different general traits of Internet use has been related to the forum Boys With ED, as well as theory regarding focus on information or focus on virtual togetherness within a virtual sphere. Part two is about body image theory, masculinity theory and identity theory, since the members of Boys With ED post content related to these issues at the forum. The study of Boys With ED has been conducted by using a combination of virtual ethnography and thematic analysis. The platform's functions and the content of it have been studied. Through the reading of the discussion threads during one month's time, themes have been extracted. The findings show that Boys With ED has many of the possible functions and services an Internet community can have, but it is clear that the participating members' activity is more about discussions with likeminded than using the platform's different functions or integrating media material. The forum can in many ways be considered as a Pro-Ana forum, and members are at risk of getting more extreme views while participating at the forum. At the same time, the members display concerns regarding other members' health, and some of them write they wish other members to recover from their eating disorder. The members display different traits of Internet use, and post plenty of information regarding eating disorder related issues, as well as comments probably posted in order to support and/or motivate each other. They also display occupation with body image issues, and seem to connect their identities tightly to their bodies. In addition, their wish for a thin body can be said to go against the concept of hegemonic masculinity. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 103 p.
National Category
Media and Communications
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-16378OAI: diva2:532128
Subject / course
Media and Communication Studies
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Article manuscript 7,5 hp part of degree. Boys with ED (Eating Disorders) onlineAvailable from: 2012-06-09 Created: 2012-06-09 Last updated: 2012-06-12Bibliographically approved

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