Anorexia in scientific journals and the press: cultural models, critical points and lines of development

Federico Fanelli, Francesca Terri


In this article we set out to identify the cultural models structuring the discourse on anorexia in a part of the Italian scientific and journalistic output in the period from 2000 to 2005. 
The hypothesis is that such cultures influence and "organize" the operations of intervention and prevention of those who deal with anorexia and that, at the same time, they orient the expectations and the demand of the social system. 
The idea underlying the research is that any professional operation that can be carried out and is carried out by associations, institutions, and all the operators involved with anorexia, can (and must) be set in a “context” of which all the culturally significant coordinates are known, and that interventions, projects and prevention policies can therefore attain a clear and perceptible form and choose a genuinely incisive sense, which springs from and responds to the expectations, demands, conceptions and whatever else can be attributed to the life and feelings of the community and of the scientific culture towards a “social event” like anorexia. 
The research therefore aims to identify places and cultural areas where there is a particularly strong social “demand” linked to anorexia, interpretable in relation to what is “offered” by the context. Finally, it is hypothesized that a knowledge of the image of anorexia conveyed by the scientific and information press can grant opportunities for dialogue between experts, operators, institutional interlocutors and open the way to transformations and negotiations of meaning about the representation of anorexia. Dealing with this does not entail just describing the forms of suffering or types of treatment, but also asking oneself about risk factors or resources involved in a  particular culture and about prevention, and therefore about the possible forms of protection, which would require “political” intervention in the culture in order to be  put into effect.

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Rivista di Psicologia Clinica. Teoria e metodi dell'intervento

Rivista Telematica a Carattere Scientifico Registrazione presso il Tribunale civile di Roma (n.149/2006 del 17/03/2006)

ISSN 1828-9363