Doing Stigma: Online Commenting Around Weight-Related News Media



Brooker, PD ORCID: 0000-0003-1189-4647, Barnett, J, Vines, J, Lawson, S, Feltwell, T and Long, K
(2018) Doing Stigma: Online Commenting Around Weight-Related News Media. New Media and Society, 20 (9). 3201 - 3222.

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Abstract

Weight stigma results from the mediatisation of ‘obesity’; conceptually, a medicalised problem resulting from personal bodily irresponsibility. We undertake a frame analysis of 1452 comments on a thematically-related online news article published via The Guardian, about the status of ‘obesity’ as a disability in EU employment law. We identify three themes: weight as a lifestyle choice or disability; weight as an irresponsible choice, and weight as a simple or complex issue. We contend that the design of the commenting platform prevents counter-narratives from challenging the dominant (‘obesity’) framing for three reasons: content is driven by comments appearing earlier in the corpus; the commenting system primarily supports argument between polarised rhetorical positions, and the platform design discourages users from developing alternative terminologies for producing counter-narratives. In this way, we explore how weight stigma is propagated through online media, and how users’ comments intersect with the affordances of the platform itself.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Fatness, obesity, online news commentary, socio-political discourse, weight stigma
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2017 11:31
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2021 07:10
DOI: 10.1177/1461444817744790
Related URLs:
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3011828