Identity as an analytic problem: who's who in `pro-ana' websites?

Hammersley, Martyn and Treseder, Peggy (2007). Identity as an analytic problem: who's who in `pro-ana' websites? Qualitative Research, 7(3) pp. 283–300.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1468794107078509

Abstract

Identity is not only an important and difficult theoretical issue but also one that arises as a methodological problem. Indeed, which of the available conceptions of identity is adopted has implications for the very form that social inquiry takes. In this article, three quite different notions of identity are explored, as substantive agency, as a matter of discursive attribution, and as an analytic model. The issues involved in the use of each of these versions of identity in research are explored. In the second half of the article, in order to examine these problems in more concrete terms, we look at how they emerge in internet ethnography concerned with `pro-ana' websites.

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