Critical Feminist Approaches to Eating Dis/Orders addresses these developments, exploring how eating disordered subjectivities, experiences and body management practices are theorised and researched within postmodern and post-structuralist feminist frameworks.
Bringing together an international range of cutting-edge, contemporary feminist research and theory on eating disorders, this book explores how anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and obesity cannot be adequately understood in terms of individual mental illness and deviation from the norm but are instead continuous with the dominant cultural ideas and values of contemporary cultures.
This book will be essential reading for academic, graduate and post-graduate researchers with an interest in eating disorders and critical feminist scholarship, across a range of disciplines including psychology, sociology, cultural studies and gender studies as well as clinicians interested in exploring innovative theory and practice in this field.
Based on original research using historical and contemporary literature on anorexia nervosa, and a series of interviews with women diagnosed as anorexic, The Thin Woman offers new insights into the problem. It will prove useful both to those with an interest in eating disorders and gender, and to those interested in the new developments in feminist post-structuralist theory and discourse analytic research in psychology.
This new collection of sophisticated discursive analyses explores this divide from a variety of theoretical standpoints, including psychoanalysis, social representations theory, feminist theory, critical realism, post-structuralism and social constructionism.
Body Talk reconciles the divide by putting forward a new 'materialist-discursive' approach. It also provides an introduction to social constructionist and discursive approaches which is accessible to those with limited previous knowledge of socio-linguistic theory, and showcases the distinctive contribution that psychologists can make to the field.
Reassessing Experimental Psychology from a critical perspective, Sylvia Blood demonstrates how its research into Body Image can be misused and prone to misuse. Classifying women who experience distress and anxiety with food, eating and body size as suffering 'body image disturbance' or 'body image dissatisfaction', it can reproduce dominant assumptions about language, meaning and subjectivity. Experimental psychology's discourse about body image has recently become more widely influential, becoming popularised through domains such as women’s magazines, in which psychological experts provide 'facts' about women's 'body image problems', and offer advice and psychological treatments.
With acute cross-disciplinary awareness Body Work: The Social Construction of Women's Body Image exposes the assumptions at work in the methods and status of experimental approaches. Penetrating beyond the usual dichotomy between experimental and popular psychology, this book illuminates some of the ways in which women's magazines have embraced experimental psychology's treatment of the issue. Drawing on her experience in Clinical Psychology, Sylvia Blood highlights the damaging effects of uncritically experimental views of body image. She goes on to elaborate not only an alternative model of discursive construction but also the implications of such a theory for clinical practice.
Merging theory and clinical experience, Sylvia Blood exposes the fallacies about women’s bodies that underpin experimental psychology's body image research. She demonstrates the dangerous consequences of these fallacies being accepted as truths in popular texts and in the talk of 'everyday' women.
`A readable book that contains simplified information of some complicated concepts. It will prove of benefit to those readers in the field of women and social studies' - European Eating Disorders Review
The concepts presented in this book are carefully argued, succinctly organized, and genuinely stimulating.... It provokes clinicians to think about treatment and the effect of diagnostic practices, it provokes researchers to ask different questions, and it provokes students to read beyond dominant and conventional texts. This is a timely and important publication that deserves to feature prominently in the ongoing study of anorexia nervosa' - Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology
`This book is intelligent, well-written and thought provoking addition to current literature on eating disorders' - Feminism and Psychology
In this wide-ranging book, Julie Hepworth casts a critical light on our contemporary understanding of anorexia nervosa. She locates contemporary discourses of anorexia nervosa within their historical context, showing how current practices continue to be influenced by medicine, psychology, ideology and politics. She argues that anorexia nervosa must be considered within the political, social and gendered relationships that continue to contribute to its definition. The book demonstrates the need for a new conceptualization of anorexia nervosa which would draw on the insights of discourse theory, feminism and postmodernism to create new understandings of anorexia nervosa within contemporary health care practices.