Body Work: The Social Construction of Women's Body Image

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August 2005



Are scientific "facts" enough to define and assess a socially mediated conception of adequacy?
Experimental psychology formulates and resolves research questions about "body image" in terms of the pathology of particular women. What it does not focus on, however, are the discursive practices at work in its own assumptions. This can lead to the perpetuation rather than questioning of dominant narratives about women and the nature of body image dissatisfaction. With acute cross-disciplinary awareness, "Body Work" exposes the assumptions at work in the methods and status of experimental approaches. Penetrating beyond the usual dichotomy between experimental and popular psychology, this book illuminates some of the ways in which women's magazines have uncritically embraced experimental psychology's treatment of the issue. Drawing on her experience in clinical psychology, Sylvia Blood highlights the damaging effects of uncritically experimental views of body image. She goes on to elaborate not only an alternative model of discursive construction but also the implications of such a theory for clinical practice.


Introduction. Experimental Body Image Research. Critique of Body Image Research. Discursive Constitution of the Body. 'What Other Women Look Like Naked': Reading a Popular Women's Magazine Practices of Subjectification: 'Body Image' Discourse in Popular Women's Magazines. Body Image Talk - One Woman's Account of Her Experiences. Clinical Implications - from Theory to Clinical Practice.


Clinical Psychologist in Private Practice


'Effectively illustrates how the assumptions we make about body image from an individualistic Western research perspective may not actually be helpful to women with body-image problems. Moreover, [Blood] offers an alternative perspective that does justice to the complexity of women's feelings about their bodies. ... I plan on using this text as the basis for a panel discussion in a university setting on women's body image, and I anticipate it will generate interesting intellectual dialogue across several disciplines and perspectives.' - Christy Barongan, in PsycCRITIQUES, March 2006.
EAN: 9780415272728
ISBN: 0415272726
Untertitel: 'Women and Psychology'. Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: August 2005
Seitenanzahl: 149 Seiten
Format: kartoniert
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