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Imaging culture in personal narratives of eating disorders


1) Who can take part?

You need to be 18 or over, have experience of an eating disorder, but not be in an acute phase of illness or treatment.

2) Purpose of the research?

Although there is still no clear agreement on the many factors that contribute to the development of eating disorders, it has long since been understood that cultural and societal factors play some role. Quite often, however, this is reduced solely to the role of media images and their impact on body image. Not only does this simplify the complex role played by cultural factors, but it also positions those with experience of eating disorders as ‘vulnerable’ media consumers. This study seeks to complicate how cultural factors are understood in the field of eating disorders by offering people with experience a chance to ‘speak back’ to these constructions.

3) What does the study involve?

You will be asked to take photos (using your phone) of the ways in which culture has contributed to your eating problems, and also to take part in a semi-structured interview (to discuss the photos).

4) How can someone take part?

Please email Professor Su Holmes at