Using Grounded theory this thesis analyses the forms of support that are present on two online anorexia forums. Data was collected through non-participant observation and online interviews with members of two online anorexia forums, one pro-anorexic in orientation, one pro-recovery. Despite the clear differences that exist between the two communities, continuities are strongly apparent, especially when looking at these forums as support environments. This thesis illustrates that support is conditional, that is takes on a variety of forms in any one environment and highlights the role of offline discourses in shaping online support. It also provides an in-depth comparison of two online anorexia forums.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.