Social and cultural considerations in recovery from anorexia nervosa: a critical poststructuralist analysis

ANS Adv Nurs Sci. Jan-Mar 2003;26(1):5-16. doi: 10.1097/00012272-200301000-00004.


New directives in health care research challenge researchers to move analysis beyond that of the individual and focus on social, cultural, and historical processes as interrelated determinants of health and illness. Adhering to a poststructuralist methodology, this article moves the analytic focus beyond individualistic narratives and into social and cultural discourses concerning recovery from anorexia nervosa. This study focused on social and cultural assumptions identified, seemingly as a paradox, through accounts articulated by young women who are in recovery or have recovered from anorexia nervosa. By theorizing outside of an individualized framework, it is possible to foreground the relationships between individualism, health, self-surveillance, women, the body, and the notion of recovery from anorexia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anorexia Nervosa / psychology*
  • Anorexia Nervosa / rehabilitation*
  • Body Image
  • Culture*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Psychological Theory
  • Social Environment*
  • Social Values*