Anorexia Analysis (Sociology)

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Deviance is best described as something in society that is out of the social norm. Howard Becker, author of Outsiders, claims that deviance is, “a consequence of the responses of others actions to a person’s act...” (Becker 9). In brief, deviance is based on what society views as normal, or not normal, and the stigma one receives for deviance is based on how unusual the deviance is. Although deviance does not have to be negative, often times, uncommon, irregular things are looked down upon in society. One of the many deviant subcultures in today’s world is anorexia. Anorexia Nervosa, in medical terms, is defined as, ‘‘the refusal to maintain body weight at or above a minimally normal weight’’ (APA 589). Anorexia Nervosa often involves deliberate attempts to lose weight and avoid eating. In sociological terms anorexia is seen as a bodily stigma. The anorexic subculture is seen as deviant because of the major difference between a healthy weight and the malnourishment that anorexia exhibits. Within the subculture, there are people who think anorexia is a good thing and should be normalized, but there are also people who strongly disagree with anorexia and think it is deviant. Pro-anorexia, or pro-ana, is a movement for people who support anorexia as a normal life choice and hope to inspire others to view anorexia similarly. The Pro-anorexia movement consists of mostly women, and is based on virtual communities and Internet websites. The anorexic subculture is also filled with people who are pro-recovery. The Pro-recovery movement is based on the idea that anorexia is an abnormal disease that can be fixed with the proper treatments and positive reinforcements. In a research study done by Stephen M. Haas et al., the differences between pro-anorexia and pro-recovery are analyzed, and in the research Haas discovers that the pro-ana community has created a new trend for

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