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Unspeakable Bodies: Erasure, Embodiment and the Pro-ana Community.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date09/2003
JournalInternational Journal of Cultural Studies
Number of pages19
Original languageEnglish


In this article, I explore the extent to which the `virtual community' has been imagined as coming into being through acts of erasure that create unmarked citizens. In contrast, `pro-ana' websites that celebrate eating disorders aim to create a community in which a sense of collectivity is constituted precisely through the body, specifically the anorexic body. By encouraging members to speak out, these communities aim to subvert the economy of difference through which the anorexic body is always positioned as `other', as the body that `has' difference. I argue that the public outcry surrounding pro-ana communities represents an appeal to censorship as a means by which, as Kristeva argues, outsiders might be `ejected beyond the scope of the possible, the tolerable, the thinkable' in order to reinstate the notion of consensus through the suppression of some forms of difference.

Bibliographic note

RAE_import_type : Journal article RAE_uoa_type : Sociology