Abject Relations: Everyday Worlds of Anorexia

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Rutgers University Press, 2010 - Psychology - 229 pages
Abject Relations presents an alternative approach to anorexia, long considered the epitome of a Western obsession with individualism, beauty, self-control, and autonomy. Through detailed ethnographic investigations, Megan Warin looks at the heart of what it means to live with anorexia on a daily basis. Participants describe difficulties with social relatedness, not being at home in their body, and feeling disgusting and worthless. For them, anorexia becomes a seductive and empowering practice that cleanses bodies of shame and guilt, becomes a friend and support, and allows them to forge new social relations.

Unraveling anorexia's complex relationships and contradictions, Warin provides a new theoretical perspective rooted in a socio-cultural context of bodies and gender. Abject Relations departs from conventional psychotherapy approaches and offers a different "logic," one that involves the shifting forces of power, disgust, and desire and provides new ways of thinking that may have implications for future treatment regimes.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Steering a Course between Fields
21
Knowing through the Body
51
The Complexities of Being Anorexic
70
Abject Relations with Food
99
Me and My Disgusting Body
128
Becoming Clean
152
Reimagining Anorexia
179
Notes
191
References
209
Index
227
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About the author (2010)

Megan Warin is a social anthropologist who has worked in psychiatry, gender studies, and public health at various institutions, including Durham University, the University of Adelaide, and Flinders University of South Australia.

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