Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

American Sociological Association Annual Meeting


Community Health | Medicine and Health | Social Media | Sociology


This paper details the making of community and bodies in online environments, specifically the online pro-anorexia community. Building community among members of these groups is particularly fraught because tensions over claims to authenticity permeate these groups. Because these are embodied practices and online spaces are presumably disembodied, participants constantly grapple with authenticity, largely through the threat of the "wannarexic." This paper documents the way in which tensions around authenticity and embodied practices are managed through treatment of the wannarexic, participating in group rituals, and deployment of individual tools. Participants grapple with these tensions through engaging in offline bodily rituals that attempt to make the body evident online.