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Durham University

Research & business

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Publication details for Dr Kimberly Jamie

Hockin-Boyers, H., Pope, S. & Jamie, K. (2020). Digital Pruning: Agency and Social Media Use as a Personal Political Project Among Female Weightlifters in Recovery from Eating Disorders. New Media & Society

Author(s) from Durham


In the past decade, a wealth of research has focused on women and social media.
Typically assembled according to the logic of ‘risk’ and ‘exposure’, this extensive work
tends to operate within a negative paradigm whereby women’s engagement with the
digital produces harmful outcomes for wellbeing. This article makes a novel contribution
to this literature by tracing the ways in which women who are in recovery from eating
disorders and engaged in weightlifting strategically navigate their social media ‘worlds’
and give meaning to this process. Our data draw on 19 in-depth interviews and our
findings examine 2 key themes. First, we challenge the negative paradigm that frames
women’s social media use and demonstrate how the digital can support positive wellbeing for women in recovery. Second, we introduce the concept of ‘digital pruning’, a personal political project framed within the language of self-care, which involves unfollowing unhelpful or triggering content.