ONLINE NETWORKS AND EMOTIONAL ENERGY

@article{Maloney2013ONLINENA,
  title={ONLINE NETWORKS AND EMOTIONAL ENERGY},
  author={Patricia Maloney},
  journal={Information, Communication \& Society},
  year={2013},
  volume={16},
  pages={105 - 124}
}
  • Patricia Maloney
  • Published 1 February 2013
  • Business
  • Information, Communication & Society
There has been a great deal of social theory written about how groups form and affect members in the offline world, but less research about how online groups can affect the behaviors and identity of the individuals who choose to participate in them. Pro-anorexia, or pro-ana, websites have been shown to have an effect on those individuals who participate in and/or view them by previous research, but previous research is inconsistent or lacking concerning the reason(s) for that effect. This study… 
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References

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TLDR
Analysis indicates that pro-anorexic identities are normalized and strengthened through the normalization of participants' pro-ana thoughts and behaviors, and the group bond created through sharing a secret identity.
Inside the “Pro-ana” Community: A Covert Online Participant Observation
TLDR
A covert participant observation was conducted into the meanings of interaction in the “pro-ana” online community, suggesting that the sites are best understood as local cliques offering temporary relief from offline hostility, but it is doubtful whether they can be said to possess any therapeutic value beyond the immediate online context.
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TLDR
Results provide an empirical basis for concern (expressed by clinicians, researchers, the media) that pro-anorexia websites are a troubling new form of thin-ideal exposure that warrants further examination.
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