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Rutgers University Press
Framing Fat: Competing Constructions in Contemporary Culture

Framing Fat: Competing Constructions in Contemporary Culture

by Samantha Kwan, Jennifer Graves


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Framing Fat: Competing Constructions in Contemporary Culture

According to public health officials, obesity poses significant health risks and has become a modern-day epidemic. A closer look at this so-called epidemic, however, suggests that there are multiple perspectives on the fat body, not all of which view obesity as a health hazard.

Alongside public health officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are advertisers of the fashion-beauty complex, food industry advocates at the Center for Consumer Freedom, and activists at the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance.

Framing Fat takes a bird’s-eye view of how these multiple actors construct the fat body by identifying the messages these groups put forth, particularly where issues of beauty, health, choice and responsibility, and social justice are concerned. Samantha Kwan and Jennifer Graves examine how laypersons respond to these conflicting messages and illustrate the gendered, raced, and classed implications within them. In doing so, they shed light on how dominant ideas about body fat have led to the moral indictment of body nonconformists, essentially “framing” them for their fat bodies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813560915
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Publication date: 05/15/2013
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

SAMANTHA KWAN is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Houston. She is the coeditor of Embodied Resistance: Challenging the Norms, Breaking the Rules.

JENNIFER GRAVES is a professor of sociology at Houston Community College and a sociology instructor at the University of Houston. 

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables vii

Acknowledgments ix

1 A Contested Field 1

2 Fat as Frightful 22

3 Fat as Fatal 42

4 Fat and Food Politics 70

5 Fat and Fair Treatment 94

6 Framing Fat Bodies 116

Notes 145

References 151

Index 177

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