“Starving Is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have”: The Pro-Ana Subculture as Edgework

  title={“Starving Is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have”: The Pro-Ana Subculture as Edgework},
  author={Jeannine A. Gailey},
  journal={Critical Criminology},
  • J. Gailey
  • Published 25 March 2009
  • Psychology
  • Critical Criminology
The media have been focusing on websites that are “pro-anorexic” to illustrate the pervasiveness of eating disorders in the US. This study focuses on the narratives of women who participate in “pro-ana” sites using Lyng’s (Am J Sociol 95:851–886, 1990) concept of edgework. Results indicate that women struggle with feelings of loss of control and through various skills are able to resume control. These data point to the intense emotive reactions fasting elicits, reactions which both reinforce… 
“This is not pro-ana”: Denial and disguise in pro-anorexia online spaces
ABSTRACT As a result of censorship by internet moderators and vilification by the mainstream media, users of “pro-ana” online spaces deploy creative devices in order to remain online. These range
Ethical Dilemmas and Digital Subcultures: Silencing Self-Starvers as Epistemic Violence
This article argues that two non-profit national eating disorder advocacy groups, the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) and the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated
‘To the horror of experts’: reading beneath scholarship on pro-ana online communities
Abstract Pro-ana online communities in which people share their experiences of eating disorders have attracted concern among scholars and health practitioners because of fears about their potential
Neoliberalism, Pro-ana/mia Websites, and Pathologizing Women: Using Performance Ethnography to Challenge Psychocentrism
Key terms such as “pro-ana,” “pro-anorexia,” and “pro-ED” are searched for on the Internet over 13 million times annually. These searches lead to web pages and social media sites where pro-anorexia
Pro-anorexia Communities and Online Interaction: Bringing the Pro-ana Body Online
This article details the making of community and bodies in online environments, specifically the online pro-anorexia community. Building community among members of these groups is particularly
Edgework and Mixed Martial Arts: Risk, Reflexivity and Collaboration in an Ostensibly ‘Violent’ Sport
In this paper I outline the ways in which Stephen Lyng’s concept of ‘edgework’ offers a valuable and unique vantage point for making sense of the contemporary practice of full-contact combat sports.
. Throughout my immersion in the field of pro-ana/mia, I came across very few direct discussions about males and little concern about boys/men being targeted by or being vulnerable to joining the
Pro-anorexia/bulimia censorship and public service announcements: the price of controlling women
Individuals, particularly women, are fixated on weight loss, driven by the goal of achieving a ‘skinny’ female physique that is desirable in western/ized cultures. There are online forums where
A grounded theory analysis of the forms of support on two online anorexia forums
Using Grounded theory this thesis analyses the forms of support that are present on two online anorexia forums. Data was collected through non-participant observation and online interviews with
Being naked on the internet: young people’s selfies as intimate edgework
ABSTRACT In this paper, I examine how young selfie sharers engage in intimate edgework in the visual social media site tumblr. Originally devised by Stephen Lyng, edgework is defined as the


In this article, the author examines the gendered emotional culture of high-risk takers. Drawing on five and one-half years of ethnographic fieldwork with a volunteer search and rescue group, the
The Ana Sanctuary: Women’s Pro-Anorexia Narratives in Cyberspace
In this paper I explore cyberspace as a space where women who are struggling with anorexia can potentially find sanctuary from the surveillance and regulatory mechanisms of control in the public
The Cyber Worlds of Self-Injurers: Deviant Communities, Relationships, and Selves
We explore how self-injurers, a group of deviants who primarily were loners, now use the Internet to form subcultural and collegial relations. Drawing on virtual participant-observation in cyber
Resistance as Edgework in Violent Intimate Relationships of Drug -Involved Women
This paper explores how edgework may be differentiated across gender, class and race, and it refines the resistance concept by specifying both when resistance is likely to occur and what the specific rewards of resistance may be.
Anorexia nervosa and bulimia: The development of deviant identities
Past research on eating disorders has concentrated on medical and psychological facets. Neglected in the literature are the social processes which antedate and maintain anorexia nervosa and bulimia.
The Thin Woman: Feminism, Post-structuralism and the Social Psychology of Anorexia Nervosa
The Thin Woman provides an in-depth discussion of anorexia nervosa from a feminist social psychological standpoint. Medicine, psychiatry and psychology have all presented us with particular ways of
describing sexual behavior in the era of the internet: a typology for empirical research
ABSTRACT Gagnon and Simon's (1967) groundbreaking work on sexual deviance divided behaviors into normal, pathological, and sociological categories. We reconstruct this typology as a pair of two cross
Anorexic dis(connection): managing anorexia as an illness and an identity.
  • E. Rich
  • Psychology, Medicine
    Sociology of health & illness
  • 2006
As these young women negotiate the various discourses which offer them alternative subjectivities, they come to manage anorexia as both an illness and an identity.
Edgework: A Social Psychological Analysis of Voluntary Risk Taking
  • S. Lyng
  • Sociology
    American Journal of Sociology
  • 1990
Voluntary risk taking is an activity that attracts a sizable number of people in American society but has been largely ignored by sociologists. A literature review is presented that points to a
Surfing for Thinness: A Pilot Study of Pro–Eating Disorder Web Site Usage in Adolescents With Eating Disorders
Pro–eating disorder site usage was prevalent among adolescents with eating disorders, yet parents had little knowledge of this and usage may have a negative impact on quality of life and result in adolescents’ learning about and adopting disordered eating behaviors.