Between bodies and collectivities: Articulating the action of emotion in obesity epidemic discourse
MetadataShow full item record
Over the last decade intense concern has developed about what has been characterised as an obesity epidemic in the West. This concern has been accompanied by equally intense debates over the validity of this characterisation. Many critics see the epidemic designation as part of an intensifying 'moral panic' about fat in which emotions about fat shape the public and scientific debate. In this article we explore the critical literature on the obesity epidemic, noting the way in which it draws attention to the role of the emotions in discourse on the epidemic. We argue that the action of emotions in this context invites further theorisation, and that this theorisation needs to be undertaken via concepts that: (1) explicitly integrate the body and the emotions with the materialisation of political discourse, (2) avoid individualising and psychologising accounts of the emotions and (3) analyse the action of emotion in political debate without implying the need to eradicate emotion in generating more just and accurate perspectives. To this end, we turn to the work of Sara Ahmed, who has developed a sophisticated account of the role of the emotions in constructing social collectivities through their engagement with ideas of the body. We argue that this theory can be used to illuminate both the general relationship between public discourse and subjectivity, and the specific relationship between the self, the body and the oftentimes unmet imperative to slimness.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
‘I don't want her to be overweight like I was as a girl’: Mother/child bodily connections in nutritional careworkTanner, C.; Maher, J.; Fraser, Suzanne (2013)Widespread concern about a childhood obesity ‘epidemic’ has focused attention on the bodies, weight and food behaviours of mothers and their children. In childhood obesity-related discourse, mothers' bodies are framed in ...
An ethnographic study of recreational drug use and identity management among a network of electronic dance music enthusiasts in Perth, Western AustraliaGreen, Rachael Renee (2012)This thesis explores the social contexts and cultural significance of amphetamine-type stimulant (ATS) and alcohol use among a social network of young adults in Perth, Western Australia. The study is positioned by the ...
Seear, Kate (2014)Since its ‘discovery’ some 150 years ago, thinking about endometriosis has changed. With current estimates identifying it as more common than breast and ovarian cancer, this chronic, incurable gynaecological condition has ...