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Durham Research Online
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Digital pruning: agency and social media use as a personal political project among female weightlifters in recovery from eating disorders

Hockin-Boyers, H. and Pope, S. and Jamie, K. (2021) 'Digital pruning: agency and social media use as a personal political project among female weightlifters in recovery from eating disorders.', New media & society., 23 (8). pp. 2345-2366.

Abstract

In the past decade, a wealth of research has focused on women and social media. Typically assembled according to the logic of ‘risk’ and ‘exposure’, this extensive work tends to operate within a negative paradigm whereby women’s engagement with the digital produces harmful outcomes for wellbeing. This article makes a novel contribution to this literature by tracing the ways in which women who are in recovery from eating disorders and engaged in weightlifting strategically navigate their social media ‘worlds’ and give meaning to this process. Our data draw on 19 in-depth interviews and our findings examine 2 key themes. First, we challenge the negative paradigm that frames women’s social media use and demonstrate how the digital can support positive wellbeing for women in recovery. Second, we introduce the concept of ‘digital pruning’, a personal political project framed within the language of self-care, which involves unfollowing unhelpful or triggering content.

Item Type:Article
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444820926503
Publisher statement:This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
Date accepted:24 April 2020
Date deposited:05 May 2020
Date of first online publication:03 June 2020
Date first made open access:05 May 2020

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