Institute of Polish Culture, Warsaw University
The aim of my research is to examine the construction of self in weblogs devoted to dieting as emerging through body regimes. The rhythm of dieting and the rhythm of blogging overlap with each other as everyday life organizing and self maintaining routines. Self-monitoring is combined with self-branding (presenting oneself as an attractive author) within shared practices of the community of dieting women.
The material used in the research will be a selection of Polish weblogs about dieting existing as a part of a very popular thematic portal Dieta.pl. They will be looked upon within a framework of theories on autobiography, the everyday, construction of identity, body in culture and feminist cultural studies of science and technology.
The focus of my research will not be weblogs as text, but rather blogging as cultural practice entangled in its media, technology and society context. The main questions concern the functions of dieting women’s blogging: what are the social benefits of running a weblog in this particular space? By what means is the self constructed on these weblogs? How weblogs as internet environment shape dieting practices as compared to discussion fora and how is their engine appropriated to fit their users' needs? How these practices fit into the everyday? On the methodological level, I want to argue that close reading of online text in the context of cultural practices can be itself a form of participatory observation and therefore can be concerned a valid form of research within the anthropology of the internet.