Feminist Perspectives on Eating Disorders

Feminist Perspectives on Eating Disorders

by Patricia Fallon
     
 

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This important work illuminates the relationship between the anguish of eating disorder sufferers and the problems of ordinary women. It covers a wide variety of issues from ways in which gender may predispose women to eating disorders to the widespread cultural concerns these problems symbolize. Chapters all share three basic elements: The psychology of women… See more details below

Overview


This important work illuminates the relationship between the anguish of eating disorder sufferers and the problems of ordinary women. It covers a wide variety of issues from ways in which gender may predispose women to eating disorders to the widespread cultural concerns these problems symbolize. Chapters all share three basic elements: The psychology of women is reflected in the concepts and methods described; there is an explicit commitment to political and social equality for women; and therapy is reevaluated based on an understanding of the needs of women patients and the potentially differing contributions of male and female therapists.

Editorial Reviews

Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry

"Exciting and unusual are adjectives that spring to mind when describing this book...The book is fun to read and yet at the end you are left with plenty to think about. It will be required reading for anyone interested in how social and cultural factors shape the individual."--Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Choice

"This book...is an important milestone in the field....The entire book is essential reading for graduate students, researchers, faculty, professionals, and practitioners."--Choice
From the Publisher

"Approximately 90 percent of individuals who struggle with eating disorders are women. Clearly, a volume that is dedicated to a feminist understanding of these disorders is long overdue. Drs. Fallon, Katzman, and Wooley, veteran clinicians in the area have collected a distinguished group of authors who present this perspective. The chapters are all thoughtful, rigorous, and highly readable. This is a text that should be read by all clinicians interested in this area, regardless of their theoretical orientation." --Craig Johnson, Ph.D., Co-Director, Laureate Psychiatric Clinic and Hospital, Eating Disorders Program, Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Tulsa

"These essays on women's troubled relationship to her body and food are of a high standard. They take as their starting point women's experience in the social, psychological, and political worlds. They express the pain, the rage, and the courage that is women's lives while their scholarship shows our strivings to create better understandings of our lives." --Susie Orbach, psychotherapist and writer, author of Fat is a Feminist Issue and Hunger Strike: The Anorectic's Struggle as a Metaphor of Our Age.

"In the grey stream of publications on eating disorders, this colorful book cannot be overlooked by those working with anorexic or bulimic patients. Its contents is so rich and fresh, but at the same time, provocative and even shocking, that no reader will remain 'untouched.'" --Walter Vandereycken, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry, University of Leuven, Belgium

"The editors offer a thought-provoking and insightful overview of feminist perspectives and one rich with clinical implications. The theoretical concepts and technical issues are effectively presented, making this indispensable reading for anyone undertaking work with eating disorder patients." --Michael Strober, Ph.D., Director, UCLA Eating Disorders Program and Editor, International Journal of Eating Disorders

"This is a major work. A timely work. A huge contribution. A labor of both love and anger. These authors together affirm the rediscovery that life is not gender-neutral at all. Whether it has to be gender antagonistic remains an unsettled issue. This distinguished group of authors cover the gamut of important material concerning eating disorders from history, sociocultural development, moral indictment, ironic commentary, treatment, and prevention. Virtually every emotion is aroused by this volume. Some wonderfully outrageous chapters are included such as 'The Female Therapist as Outlaw'. 'Alternatives in Obesity Treatment Beside Dieting' fills a necessary void. It is time to accept diversity in weights as we do diversity in almost every other area of life. This is a serious and monumental work, but that the same time eminently readable, almost a page-turner. Agree with it. Disagree with it. Love it. Hate it. Feel justified. Feel guilty. But read it." --Arnold E. Andersen, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, University of Iowa

"An excellent, holistic approach to a multi-faceted issue." --Rena Pallof, John F. Kennedy University, Graduate School for Holistic Studies, Orinda, CA; Course: Psychology of Nutrition

"A thorough and clear statement of what constitutes feminist approaches to eating disorders." --Janet L. Etzi, Immaculata College

Eating Disorders

"An exceptionally important contribution.... A landmark work [that] deserves to be widely read and debated by professional workers and students in the field. Lucidly written and meticulously edited, its contents will undoubtedly be discussed for many years to come."--Eating Disorders
John D. Mead
This is an anthology of feminist writings about the nature and treatment of eating disorders, the first of its kind to the best of my knowledge. It is organized into five broadly defined sections on historical trends, gender issues, body image, treatment, and prevention. The intent is to assemble in one volume the body of knowledge that describes the contextual or sociocultural nature of this gender-related disorder. In selecting material, the authors disclaim a unified "feminist model" but include pieces that reflect the common principles of the psychology of women, a commitment to equality of women, and a reevaluation of therapy based on gender-specific issues. The primary audiences are mental health professionals, students, patients, and others interested in the psychology of women and the feminist movement. Women's studies programs would find this useful reading. The authors are well recognized in the fields of eating disorders and feminist issues. Contributors range from those relatively unknown to those extensively published in the scientific and popular press. Individual writings vary from original pieces to summarizations of previous work. Irrespective of one's political or personal views regarding the feminist movement, its enormous impact on the field of eating disorders must be acknowledged. It has become arguably the most comprehensive theoretical model for understanding the etiology, epidemiology, and phenomenology of the disorder. Nearly an entire new generation of female therapists (even those not identifying as feminists) now look to this perspective for guidance in conducting clinical work and shaping new directions in the field. The fact that this book so masterfullyarticulates this sociocultural perspective warrants a strong endorsement. Shortcomings of the model (the fact that much of it remains untestable or that it fails to fully explain the gender mystery) do not detract from the significance of this work.
Booknews
A collection of 22 articles that synthesizes the considerable feminist thought on eating disorders over the past few years. They consider the history of eating disorders and the therapy for them, the contribution of women therapists, treatment issues, reconstructing the female text, and possible improvements in politics, advertising, education and research. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: John D. Mead, PhD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This is an anthology of feminist writings about the nature and treatment of eating disorders, the first of its kind to the best of my knowledge. It is organized into five broadly defined sections on historical trends, gender issues, body image, treatment, and prevention.
Purpose: The intent is to assemble in one volume the body of knowledge that describes the contextual or sociocultural nature of this gender-related disorder. In selecting material, the authors disclaim a unified "feminist model" but include pieces that reflect the common principles of the psychology of women, a commitment to equality of women, and a reevaluation of therapy based on gender-specific issues.
Audience: The primary audiences are mental health professionals, students, patients, and others interested in the psychology of women and the feminist movement. Women's studies programs would find this useful reading.
Features: The authors are well recognized in the fields of eating disorders and feminist issues. Contributors range from those relatively unknown to those extensively published in the scientific and popular press. Individual writings vary from original pieces to summarizations of previous work.
Assessment: Irrespective of one's political or personal views regarding the feminist movement, its enormous impact on the field of eating disorders must be acknowledged. It has become arguably the most comprehensive theoretical model for understanding the etiology, epidemiology, and phenomenology of the disorder. Nearly an entire new generation of female therapists (even those not identifying as feminists) now look to this perspective for guidance in conducting clinical work and shaping new directions in the field. The fact that this book so masterfully articulates this sociocultural perspective warrants a strong endorsement. Shortcomings of the model (the fact that much of it remains untestable or that it fails to fully explain the gender mystery) do not detract from the significance of this work.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781572301825
Publisher:
Guilford Publications, Inc.
Publication date:
10/01/1996
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
492
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.99(d)

What People are saying about this

Gerald Strober
Thought provoking and insightful... Rich with clinical implications. The theoretical concepts and technical issues are effectively presented, making this indispensable reading for anyone undertaking work with eating disorder patients.
— Michael Strober, Ph.D., UCLA Eating Disorders Program and Editor, International Journal of Eating Disorders

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