Original scientific article
Page 187 - 209

Down to the bone: A corpus-based critical discourse analysis of pro-eating disorder blogs

Morana Lukač
E-mail: mlukac@unizd.hr
Sveučilište u Zadru

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Abstract: The pro-eating-disorder community is almost exclusively an online community of individuals who claim that eating disorders are not an illness, but rather a lifestyle choice. This study offers an insight into the ideologies constructed in the pro-eating-disorder online discourse by using micro and macro levels of critical discourse analysis (CDA) on 19 blogs written by the self-declared members of the community. Linguistic analysis of the pro-eating-disorder discourse has been largely under-represented and this study is the first to use a corpus-linguistics approach to CDA in analysing the websites’ content. The results of the analysis show that the pro-eating-disorder community constructs the ideology of eating disorders as a life-style via demedicalised reference to the illness. The study also elaborates on the construction of the negative image of “an outsider” (any person not belonging to the community) as an element of self-determination. By using the corpus linguistic technique of keyness, main topics of the discourse are identified, suggesting relevant relations between the discourse of measuring and will power and the underlying pro-eating-disorder ideologies.
Keywords:
blog, pro-eating disorder community, critical discourse analysis, demedicalisation, corpus linguistics,
Article data in other languages: Croatian