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Critical bodies: representations, identities and practices of weight and body management

Riley, S. and Burns, M. and Frith, H. and Wiggins, S. and Markula, P. (2007) Critical bodies: representations, identities and practices of weight and body management. Palgrove Macmillan. ISBN 0230517730

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Abstract

This book showcases a selection of current work and debates on weight and body management practices that are being produced from the vibrant arena of critical and postmodern approaches in the social sciences. Understanding weight issues in the developed world now occurs against a backdrop in which westernised cultural ideals about the body constitute the slim body as healthy, good, moral, attractive and 'normal'. Simultaneously the World Health Organisation has declared that the western world is in the grip of an 'obesity epidemic' despite the fact that so-called eating disorders and extreme dieting and body management practices are shown to be increasing. This timely book uses the three key areas of representation, identities and practice to contextualise weight and body management practices providing readers with innovative examples of how to explore and interrogate the way our understandings of health, identity and weight are constituted within and by normative discourses of contemporary western culture.