Raquel da Cunha Recuero ( Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS)/ Universidade Católica de Pelotas (UCPel) Brazil): Virtual Communities in Social Networks: A Brazilian Pró-Anorexics and Pró-Bulimia Case
This paper deals with a very important matter: the use of Computer Mediated Communication by a community of girls (Pró-Anorexics Brazil) who defend anorexia and bulimia as a "way of life”. These girls use the facilities Internet provide, such as orkut(*) and weblogs, as a way to create and maintain social ties (Wellman, 2001 and 2003) in order to gather social capital (such as defined by Bertolini and Bravo, 2004). By this use, they have been able to create a supportive social network that can help them with information, advice and tips on deceiving parents and doctors. This paper also deals with the concept of virtual communities (Rheingold, 1999; Castells, 2003; among many others) in social networks, establishing how they can be studied and suggesting elements for these studies.
(*) orkut is an online community that connects people through a network of trusted friends. ... can socialize, make new acquaintances and find others who share their interests.