Weighty Issues: Fatness and Thinness As Social Problems

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Jeffery Sobal, Donna Maurer
Transaction Publishers - 260 Seiten

Many people consider their weight to be a personal problem; when, then, does body weight become a social problem? Until recently, the major public concern was whether enough food was consistently available. As food systems began to provide ample and stable amounts of food, questions about food availability were replaced with concerns about "ideal" weights and appearance. These interests were aggregated into public concerns about defining people as "too fat" and "too thin." Social constructionist perspectives can contribute to the understanding of weight problems because they focus attention on how these problems are created, maintained, and promoted within various social environments. While there is much objectivist research concerning weight problems, few studies address the socially constructed aspects of fatness and thinness. This book however draws from and contributes to social constructionist perspectives. The chapters in this volume offer several perspectives that can be used to understand the way society deals with fatness and thinness. The contributors consider historical foundations, medical models, gendered dimensions, institutional components, and collective perspectives. These different perspectives illustrate the multifaceted nature of obesity and eating disorders, providing examples of how a variety of social groups construct weight as a social problem. Jeffery Sobal is Professor, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University. He is on the board of directors of the Association for the Study of Food and Society and he has Cornell University Graduate Field Membership in the areas of Nutrition, Development Sociology and Epidemiology. Donna Maurer is John S. Knight Postdoctoral Fellow in the Writing Program, Cornell University. She also serves on the board of directors of the Association for the Study of Food and Society and is an adjunct professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland University College. Drs. Sobal and Maurer are coeditors of a companion volume, Interpreting Weight: The Social Management of Fatness and Thinness, and Eating Agendas: Food and Nutrition as Social Problems

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Inhalt

Body Weight as a Social Problem
3
Meanings of Weight among Dietitians
183
The Size Acceptance Movement and
231
Biographical Sketches of the Contributors
251
Index
255
Urheberrecht

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Seite 81 - These four inferences may be summarized by saying that medical examinations showed that, of every nine men of military age in Great Britain, on the average three were perfectly fit and healthy; two were upon a definitely infirm plane of health and strength, whether from some disability or...
Seite 81 - ... development ; three were incapable of undergoing more than a very moderate degree of physical exertion and could almost (in view of their age) be described with justice as physical wrecks ; and the remaining man was a chronic invalid with a precarious hold upon life.
Seite ii - Holstein (editors), Constructionist Controversies: Issues in Social Problems Theory Philip Jenkins, Intimate Enemies: Moral Panics in Contemporary Great Britain Philip Jenkins, Using Murder: The Social Construction of Serial Homicide Valerie Jenness, Making It Work: The Prostitutes...
Seite 84 - Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer of the Board of Education for the Year 1931.
Seite 160 - Now, the curious fact is that the "new capitalism" of abundance, which emerged in the 1920s, has never been able to define its view of these cultural-political issues, as it had of the economic-political conflicts. Given its split character, it could not do so. Its values derive from the traditionalist past, and its language is the archaism of the Protestant Ethic. Its technology and dynamism, however, derive from the spirit of modernity — the spirit of perpetual innovation, and of the creation...
Seite 124 - ... male or female, to her sense of herself as an existing individual. To possess such a body may also be essential to her sense of herself as a sexually desiring and desirable subject. Hence, any political project which aims to dismantle the machinery that turns a female body into a feminine one may well be apprehended by a woman as something that threatens her with desexualization, if not outright annihilation.
Seite 72 - CLINICAL TREATISES ON THE PATHOLOGY AND THERAPY OF DISORDERS OF METABOLISM AND NUTRITION.
Seite 38 - An unrelieved picture of model parental behavior, a contrived image of artificial perfection and happiness, is held up before parents who try valiantly to reach the ever receding ideal of 'good parenthood,' like dogs after a mechanical rabbit.
Seite 70 - NUTRITION AND DIETETICS. A MANUAL FOR STUDENTS OF MEDICINE, FOR TRAINED NURSES, AND FOR DIETITIANS IN HOSPITALS AND OTHER INSTITUTIONS.
Seite 99 - ... a machinery of power that explores it, breaks it down and rearranges it." The disciplinary techniques through which the "docile bodies" of women are constructed aim at a regulation that is perpetual and exhaustive — a regulation of the body's size and contours, its appetite, posture, gestures and general comportment in space, and the appearance of each of its visible parts.

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