UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A thin testimony: anorexia, language, and control De Fabrizio, Lucy Mary Anne


This thesis explores the use of self-representation as a medium for symbolic intervention into the institutionalized discourses of anorexia nervosa. The analysis takes into account the roles that such discourses play in not only explaining the anorectic's condition, but in constructing her identity in language. Much of the work draws on the often conflicting and competing discourses from medicine, psychoanalysis, psychiatry, psychotherapy, and feminism, but the paper also references lay discourses—the talk show, the beauty magazine, the made-for-television movie. Both the practicality and costs of such symbolic representations are explored and the relative lack of autobiography/self-representation in the literature is critiqued. While autobiography is no less susceptible than any other narrative to critiques of representation, it nonetheless forces a re-examination of narratives which have historically "carried more weight" as voices of authority on anorexia nervosa.

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