Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

‘Am I anorexic?’ Weight, eating and discourses of the body in online adolescent health communication

Mullany, Louise; Smith, Catherine; Harvey, Kevin; Adolphs, Svenja

Authors

Catherine Smith

SVENJA ADOLPHS svenja.adolphs@nottingham.ac.uk
Professor of English Language and Linguistics



Abstract

This article explores the communicative choices of adolescents seeking advice from an internet-based health forum run by medical professionals. Techniques from the disciplines of sociolinguistics and corpus linguistics are integrated to examine the strategies used in adolescents’ health questions. We focus on the emergent theme of Weight and Eating, a concern which features prominently in adolescents’ requests to medical practitioners. The majority of advice requests are authored by adolescent girls, with queries peaking at age 12. A combined quantitative and qualitative analysis provides detailed insights into adolescents’ communicative strategies. Examinations of question types, register and a discourse-based analysis draw attention to dominant discourses of the body, including a ‘discourse of slenderness’ and a ‘discourse of normality’, which exercise negative influences on adolescents’ dietary behaviours. The findings are of applied linguistic relevance to health practitioners and educators as they provide them with access to adolescents’ health queries in their own language.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Nov 7, 2016
Journal Communication & Medicine
Print ISSN 1612-1783
Electronic ISSN 1613-3625
Publisher De Gruyter
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Issue 2-3
Pages 211-223
APA6 Citation Mullany, L., Smith, C., Harvey, K., & Adolphs, S. (2016). ‘Am I anorexic?’ Weight, eating and discourses of the body in online adolescent health communication. Communication and Medicine, 12(2-3), 211-223. https://doi.org/10.1558/cam.16692
DOI https://doi.org/10.1558/cam.16692
Keywords Corpus linguistics, Discourses of the body, Eating disorders, Electronic discourse, Sociolinguistics
Publisher URL https://journals.equinoxpub.com/index.php/CAM/article/view/16692
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf

Files

Mullany et al pdf 2015.pdf (214 Kb)
PDF

Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





You might also like



Downloadable Citations

;