Fatness and the Maternal Body
Women's Experiences of Corporeality and the Shaping of Social PolicyBook - 2011
Arising from a 2006 workshop and seminar series organized by the Fertility and Reproduction Studies Group at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, U. of Oxford, this volume comprises 11 chapters pertaining to women, obesity, and reproduction. Contributors are dietitians and nutritionists, anthropologists, health researchers, social psychologists--all with an interest in the social construction of ideal body weight as well as fatness misconceptions, health and economic consequences, and the impact on reproduction. The studies are quite international, grounded in Tuareg society, Tanzania, Ghana, the UK and Ireland, and India. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Obesity is a rising global health problem. On the one hand a clearly defined medical condition, it is at the same time a corporeal state embedded in the social and cultural perception of fatness, body shape and size. Focusing specifically on the maternal body, contributors to the volume examine how the language and notions of obesity connect with, or stand apart from, wider societal values and moralities to do with the body, fatness, reproduction and what is considered ‘natural’. A focus on fatness in the context of human reproduction and motherhood offers instructive insights into the global circulation and authority of biomedical facts on fatness (as ‘risky’ anti-fit, for example). As with other social and cultural studies critical of health policy discourse, this volume challenges the spontaneous connection being made in scientific and popular understanding between fatness and ill health.