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Eating disorders in the social web: An ego-network analysis approach

Eating disorders in the social web: An ego-network analysis approach

Tubaro, Paola, Casilli, Antonio A., Fraissé, Christèle, Masson, Estelle, Mounier, Lise and Rouchier, Juliette (2011) Eating disorders in the social web: An ego-network analysis approach. In: Sunbelt XXXI International Sunbelt Social Network, 8-13 February 2011, St Pete Beach, Florida, USA. (Unpublished)

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The recent upsurge of online websites, blogs and forums advocating anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa (“pro-ana” and “pro-mia”) challenges health practitioners and policy makers. While glorifying eating disorders as a lifestyle and even a choice, the authors of these websites often provide fellow sufferers with distinctive forms of emotional and practical support, and may thus have appeal to many.
The proposed paper presentation is part of a larger project addressing the role of online and offline social networks in the spread and maintenance of eating disorders, through a sociological comparative study of ana-mia subjects in France and the United Kingdom. Emphasis is on the impact on health and nutrition of computer-mediated communication networks relative to face-to-face social interactions.
The paper focuses on the fieldwork methodology, dataset construction and preliminary results. An online survey, due to be in the field shortly, invites users of ana-mia websites to provide information on their online and offline personal networks as well as their health-related advice network, together with control questions on their eating behaviours, health status and IT usage. Network information is elicited through a computer-based participant-aided sociogram drawing tool, through which respondents represent the entire set of their relationships to others as they see it, and obtain an optimised visualisation at the end. The well-acknowledged appeal of network visualisations is used here to improve survey experience and –indirectly- to enhance data quality. The survey is then followed by in-depth interviews, to be held via computer-assisted videoconference tools, to better understand the reasons underlying relational and health behaviours.

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: personal networks, online social networks, network data collection, health data, health behaviours, eating behaviours.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business > Networks and Urban Systems Centre (NUSC) > Centre for Business Network Analysis (CBNA)
Faculty of Business > Department of International Business & Economics
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Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:13

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