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The Sociology of the Body




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ANTHONY GIDDENS ● MITCHELL DUNEIER ● RICHARD APPELBAUM ● DEBORA CARR Slides created by Shannon Anderson, Roanoke College Third Edition Chapter 14: The Sociology of the Body Health, Illness, and Sexuality 1 © 2011 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Important topics • Social forces and the body • Theoretical approaches to health and illness • Alternative medicine • Health inequalities • Global health and infectious diseases • Sexuality and society 2 © 2011 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Sociology of the body • Explores the relationship between society and the body • Examines the ways that cultural and social factors affect health and other conditions of the body 3 © 2011 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Bodies 4 © 2011 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Society and eating • A dual example of a sociological approach to understanding the body: our relationship with food. – Eating disorders – Obesity 5 © 2011 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Anorexia and bulimia • 90% of those with eating disorders are women • 20% of anorexics will die from anorexia • Our diet culture: – 25% of men and 45% of women are dieting – 60% of girls age 13 diet – Over 80% of girls age 18 diet 6 © 2011 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. BMI BMI = 703 x ____weight ___ height x height _____________________________________ Note: Weight in pounds, and height in inches. Category BMI Range Underweight < 18.5 Normal weight 18.5–24.9 Overweight 25.0–29.9 Obese I 30.0–34.9 Obese II 35.0–39.9 Obese III (Morbidly Obesity) 40.0 + __________________________________________________ Source: National Heart, Lung, Blood Institute 1998. 7 © 2011 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Obesity epidemic in the U.S. • 1990: 0 states > 15% obese • 2008: 32 states > 25% obese • We live in an “obesogenic” social environment • Poverty also contributes to obesity • Despite the fact that over 60 percent of adults are overweight, there remains a powerful stigma attached to obesity. 8 © 2011 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Socialization of nature • Processes that were once natural, or biological, are now influenced by social forces and social decisions. • Norms and culture can lead to unhealthy behaviors. • Society, then, is affecting the body. 9 © 2011 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Being ill • A phenomenological or symbolic interactionist approach to illness: what is the experience of being sick? • How are daily patterns, relationships, and activities disrupted? • How do we react? How do we cope? • How do we deal with stigma? 10 © 2011 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. The sick role • A functionalist approach looks at how the sick person tries to minimize any damage her illness might create. • The sick role has three basic expectations; they are: – Not responsible for the poor health – Entitled to release from normal duties – Expected to work to get well 11 © 2011 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Alternative medicine • The norm in Western societies is a biomedical ...





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