The Edgework of Eating Irregularities

Publication Year



Eating Disorders, Labeling Theory, Anorexia, Bulimia


Health Psychology | Medicine and Health | Sociology


The purpose of this research is to go beyond the traditional interpretations of the deviance of eating disorders, which essentially employ the use of psychological explanations and labeling theory, in an attempt to further our understanding of the behaviors associated with anorexia and bulimia. First, I will explore the tendency to pathologize and medicalize those that engage in anorexia and bulimia. I will also explore a common sociological explanation of anorexia and bulimia by examining the use of labeling theory and its application to anorexia and bulimia. I will argue that these theories are insufficient in understanding anorexia and bulimia and because of this, the theory of edgework will be introduced and examined in an attempt to expand our current understand of anorexia and bulimia. Support for the theoretical underpinnings of this research is provided by survey data and data obtained from in-depth interviews.

Department 1 Awarding Honors Status

Sociology and Anthropology


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