The elephant in the room: fatphobia & oppression in the time of obesity

Brown, Andrew (2013) The elephant in the room: fatphobia & oppression in the time of obesity. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Employing the social and political ontology of Iris Marion Young, this paper evaluates the claim as to whether or not fat people are subject to oppression on the basis of their weight. It establishes clear criteria for what constitutes oppression (exploitation, marginalization, powerlessness, cultural imperialism, and violence), as well as a compelling epistemological argument for the need to conceptualize structural social relations at the level of social groups. It provides a psychoanalytic account of embodied subjectivity, and considers the implications of a fat-hating culture on subjectivity in light of this ontology. Further, it documents the way these fatphobic cultural norms have impacted women, with particular emphasis on the history of anorexia. Lastly, it interrogates the medical literature surrounding obesity qua disease, as well as how the 'obesity epidemic' is both produced by, and coconstitutive of, the process of biomedicalization in late capitalism.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 6315
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 138-152).
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Political Science
Date: April 2013
Date Type: Submission

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