This paper is written in response to Perloff’s article for the Feminist Forum that proposes an agenda and a related model to guide future research conducted in the area of social media effects on young women’s body image concerns, especially as they occur in the United States. The current paper offers suggestions and considerations for ways to renegotiate and reconfigure Perloff’s agenda and model. Specifically, this paper argues for a model that makes space for both deleterious and salutary effects, not only the former, as a means to create a model that is malleable enough to provide heuristic value for future empirical research in this area. The current paper includes a United States-focused review of the recent research about online social support groups (OSGs) and internet-based health interventions that include social media applications and suggests that these media and their related effects be included in the proposed model moving forward. The current paper also contends that more concerted and prominent attention to the form, function, attributes and/or affordances of social media is needed in the proposed agenda and related model. The theory of affordances offers a comprehensive way to address the complexity of how social media is used and the related outcomes they bring about for a particular group of people (i.e., young women with body image concerns) and is therefore also suggested as an addition to the proposed model. Other related augmentations, addendums and revisions are suggested near the end of the current paper.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 9, 2014
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