Kay McCurley

I am a PhD student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Sociology Department. This research on pro-anorexia will become my master's thesis and first comprehensive exam, and may possibly be a piece of my dissertation in the future. I am deeply grateful to anyone who participates; sociology would not exist without people who are willing to share their experiences in order to further academic inquiry.

I would like to take a moment to briefly explain more about why I am conducting this research. In feminist research there is the belief that the position of the researcher should be clear to participants in a study and to those who engage with the text. The way one exists in the world (i.e., status, privilege, personal history, family status, etc.) can affect research. In this spirit, I would like to disclose my own history as having been eating disordered for over a decade. I have had a long-standing personal interest in pro-ana discourse which, in 2005, led me to my initial interest in the subject.

At the level of research, analysis, and publication, this positionality should be reflected upon in the construction of questions, definitions, and discussions of pro-anorexia. This acknowledgement is to make my own position clearer, but this should not imply that I am an uncritical or unexamined advocate of the pro-ana movement. It is my aim to develop an empathetic understanding of the members of this group while maintaining some measure of academic objectivity.


1) Complete the consent form. 2) Complete the survey.


I am a graduate student in the University of Massachusetts Amherst's Department of Sociology.


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