Forming Fat Identities

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ProQuest, 2008 - 215 pages
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Using data from a large national sample and 40 in-depth qualitative interviews, I explore how fat identities are formed. To understand this process, I argue one must deconstruct it into both the tangible trait around which the identity is formed (overweight) and the social meaning this trait symbolizes (fat). I conceptualize a fat identity as learned, trying, and all encompassing. It is learned via exposure to messages about weight, trying because of the physical and social challenges being overweight poses, and all encompassing because it permeates all experiences. Based upon these three criteria, I argue that fat identities exist on a sliding continuum.

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Data and Methods P
The Learned Identity P
A Trying Identity Health Aesthetics and Fat P
A Taught Identity Trying Identity and all Encompassing Identity
Conclusion P
Appendix A P

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