Social inclusion and the fatosphere: the role of an online weblogging community in fostering social inclusion

Dickins, Marissa, Browning, Colette, Feldman, Susan and Thomas, Samantha 2016, Social inclusion and the fatosphere: the role of an online weblogging community in fostering social inclusion, Sociology of health & illness, vol. 38, no. 5, Special issue : special themed section on childbirth and reproduction, pp. 797-811, doi: 10.1111/1467-9566.12397.

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Title Social inclusion and the fatosphere: the role of an online weblogging community in fostering social inclusion
Author(s) Dickins, Marissa
Browning, Colette
Feldman, Susan
Thomas, SamanthaORCID iD for Thomas, Samantha orcid.org/0000-0003-1427-7775
Journal name Sociology of health & illness
Volume number 38
Issue number 5
Season Special issue : special themed section on childbirth and reproduction
Start page 797
End page 811
Total pages 15
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Place of publication Chichester, Eng.
Publication date 2016-06
ISSN 1467-9566
Keyword(s) fatosphere
internet and research
qualitative
social inclusion
stigma
weight
Summary Overweight and obesity are one of the most salient issues within society today, and the stigmatisation of overweight individuals is prevalent and widespread. Utilising interviews with 44 individuals who blog within an online fat acceptance community known as the Fatosphere, participants' perceptions of inclusion and exclusion were examined within their offline and online environments. Additionally, the effect this had on their offline lives was examined. Participants described a profound sense of exclusion within their offline lives through three agencies: the medicalisation of 'fatness', the weight loss industry and the media, which echoed descriptions of moral judgement. Furthermore, a sense of inclusion was described within the Fatosphere through the protection and support that they found within this 'safe space'. The effects of the Fatosphere influenced their lives in both negative and positive ways, allowing them to better deal with stigma and discrimination, but sometimes effecting their offline relationships in a negative manner. The Fatosphere provides a unique opportunity for corpulent individuals to engage in a community that is removed from the prominent weight-related discourse within modern society.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/1467-9566.12397
Field of Research 1117 Public Health And Health Services
1608 Sociology
2202 History And Philosophy Of Specific Fields
Socio Economic Objective 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, Foundation for the Sociology of Health & Illness
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30085753

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