the Center for Gender Studies and the...
                            Department of Psychology Invite You to Attend ...
"Starving for Identity:
           A grounded analysis of the
                     pro-anorexia  movement
  A Keynote Address Presented by
     Dr. Gregory Scott Kerwin 
        Applied Psychology Program
           Degree Completion Program
             Albright College, Reading, PA
Presentation Location & Time         Keynote Address CANCELLED     
The 2010 Symposium Keynote Address
Location: Heth 043 ~ Time: 4 - 5:30 pm ~ Tuesday, April 13th, 2010
at Radford University, Radford, VA.
The presentation is open to the public; admission is free.
Presentation Abstract
"The present research used grounded theory to critically analyze the pro-anorexia movement. 24 pro-anorexia websites were systematically coded for a unifying emergent theory. The findings indicate that the pro-ana cyber community represents a collective effort to establish a shared social understanding or identity among individuals who feel confused, isolated or subjugated - and have significant issues with food and weight. Pro-anorexia websites provide users a new context to enhance or redefine their self-concepts and/or stigmatized identity. Pro-anorexia subscription affords the opportunity to create and validate an identity that is protected under a shroud of technological anonymity. Interestingly, there seems to be two dominant pro-anorexia accounts or perspectives. One account seems to emphasize pro-anorexia as a sanctuary, and a means to gain a deeper understanding of their disease or disorder ... The second account uses pro-anorexia involvement to espouse thinness and venerate anorexia (sometimes as a lifestyle choice)."
                                       Gregory Kerwin, Personal Communication, January 2010
Background Information
"Gregory Kerwin, Assistant Professor, will receive his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Connecticut, March 2010. Applied social psychology is his overall area of research interest with a strong emphasis on the self, stigma, and gender. The majority of his research has concentrated on social comparison processes, thin-ideal internalization and self-discrepancy theory in relation to the development and maintenance of female body image disturbance.
His current research focuses on how individuals with concealable stigmatized identities manage prejudice and construct their identities with a particular interest in the effects of labeling and the process of deviant identity imputation and renegotiation for anorexic women.
In the future he intends to continue investigating issues relating to gender, but plans to extend his research into the field of men and masculinity. Finally, in order to cultivate his teaching aptitude and better serve students he plans to study the effectiveness of both existing and innovative teaching techniques and assessment tools.
  Gregory Kerwin CV: 12-28-09,
 Ph.D., Social Psychology, March 2010
   (expected), University of Connecticut
 M.A., Experimental Psychology,
    December 2002, Radford University
 B.A., Psychology / Sociology
                  (Major / Minor),
    May 2000, University of North
              Carolina at Greensboro
 Master’s Thesis Committee:
    Jeff Aspelmeier, Hilary Lips &
    Donald Hall
 Dissertation Committee:
    Gayle Bessenoff, Mary Crawford,
    Diane Quinn, Cheryl Beck &
    Nancy Naples
For more information about this presentation or 2010 symposium, please contact:
Ms. Christi Byrd: tel 540-831-6644 - email:
or Dr. Hilary Lips: tel 540-831-5387- email:
Contact Information and Related Links for Gregory Kerwin
~  Email: Dr. Gregory Kerwin  ~  Social Psychology : University of Connecticut Website  ~
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