The Cult of Thinness / Edition 2

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Overview

Whether they are rich or poor, liberal or conservative, religious or atheist, thriving or stagnat, most American women have on thing in common—they want to be thin—or thinner. And they are willing to go to extraordinary lengths to get that way, even to the point of starving themselves. Why are America's women so preoccupied with weight? Is there more to this preoccupation than weight alone? What has caused record numbers of young women—even before they reach their teenage years—to suffer from weight obbession, poor body image, and disordered eating? Why are some young women able to resit cultural pressures to be thin when others are not? Are there factors within American society that have fueled current outbreaks of anorexia and bulimia? The Cult of Thinness, Second Edition—a revised and expanded version of Sharlene Hesse-Biber's award-winning book, Am I Thin Enough Yet? (OUP, 1996)—answers these questions and more. Hesse-Biber goes beyond traditional psychological explanations of eating disorders to level a powerful indictment against the social, political, and economic pressures women face in a weight-obsessed society—a society that is, ironically, becoming increasingly more fat while worshipping a progressively more thin ideal. Hesse-Biber examines the profit motives of corporate America that promote this paradox. Moreover, a new chapter on preteens, masculinity, ethnicity, gay and lesbian body image, and the globalization of body image issues align a refined cultural study of body image with the trends found in current research studies, demographic data, and popular culture. Using the metaphor of a cult, Hesse-Biber conveys the intense, day-to-day involvement that the pursuit of thinness demands. Examining the testimonies of young women concerning the practice of body rituals, Hesse-Biber observes the extent to which these women sacrifice their bodies and minds to the pursuit of the ultra-slender ideal. She looks at pressu

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195178784
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 10/13/2006
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 510,159
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 5.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction
1. A Cult Grows in America
2. Men and Women: Mind and Body
3. Selling the Body Beautiful: Food, Dieting and Recovery
4. There's No Business Like the Body Business: Fitness and Cosmetic Surgery
5. Becoming a Certain Body
6. Joining the Cult of Thinness
7. From Disorderly Eating to Eating Disorders: The Cultural Context of Anorexia and Bulimia
8. New Recruits for the Cult of Thinness: Young Girls, Men, and Ethnic Women
9. Breaking Free from the Cult of Thinness
Notes
References
Index

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