Anna Rogozinska: Everyday body regimes: the construction of self in weblogs about dieting (BlogTalk 2008, Cork) [en]

[fr] Notes de la conférence BlogTalk 2008.

Live blogged notes of Anna’s talk, might be inaccurate. Some video footage will follow when exported and uploaded. Don’t hesitate to add links to other coverage. Slideshow.

Adding to the Polish invasion of Cork/Ireland.

Identity as a construct, a reflective project. Fluid, fragmented and ever-changing. We’re not born with it, and we’re not given it. It’s self-constructed.

Narrative identity. Identity is a set of biographical narratives, reflected through lifestyle choices and the way we treat ourselves.

Gender play. Concept of multiple selves. Problematic line of research which originates in MUDs (virtual identity). Also, view of identity as constructed through text, and doesn’t take other media into consideration.

We need to look at the material aspects of constructing our identity online. Other problem: easy to draw on social theories to analyze life online, without actually checking if the theory fits in that particular context.

So, start with the content/context, and then think of possible theories, instead of the other way round.

Writing the self as a cultural practice. Many contexts: linguistic, social…

Tickers (days on diet, days left until wedding) are also a way of constructing one’s identity.

Methodology: academic objectivity makes one hide behind the role, and sometimes forget oneself as a person. Doesn’t necessarily make what we say better. founded 8 years, ago, blogs one year ago. Polish dieting portal. 60K registered users, 82% women, young, from rural areas or small towns.

Lots of calorie counters (how much do you burn with one hour of passionate sex?)

To become and author on the portal, you need to register and enter personal data. You are a “chubby”. You need to measure yourself and stuff (height, weight, etc).

Active forum: I’m starting tomorrow, I want to lose weight. Each person can start their own thread.

Weblogs. Ticker. General information about the life of the person. Gives bodily information (period coming, so 1kg above what she should be, etc — very close to the body).

Another blog: detailed account of what she ate, the exercise she did, the excuses she comes up for eating more than what she should have.

Counting calories. 4-5 meals a day, food always on the mind. Dieting: where do you eat? which restaurant? what dieting supplements?

Identification through one’s body. Always under watch. Always too much of that body, and never perfect enough.

My weblog is the space where I set the rules, even if I obey conventions (calorie tracking, excuses). Also a means of making technology mine. Blogging and dieting structure one’s life. Intertwined genres.

Fixed set of themes and categories. No additional widgets one can use. Expression limited by technology, and their ability.

Comparing the blogs with the personal threads on the forums. Monologue and dialogue. The forum is more about interaction, and the blog more about a presentation of self (monologue) in a narcissistic way (even though they allow dialogue, of course). My space is a blog space, and Our space is the forum space.

Identity of a diet blogger constructed through person use of technology. How temporary are those blogs? When are people going to stop? When they stop being read? When they have lost their weight? Will they keep on writing their blogs?

The identity of the blogger refers to other users, but not as much as on the forum. Interesting: how the dieting blogger refers to other identities of hers/his. Am I the same on the blog, on the forum, on Flickr, on Last.FM? steph-note: yes, same person, but emphasis on different aspects of my identity