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Life histories with eating : gender, embodiment and self constitution

Daniela Ferreira Araujo Silva
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Institution: Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Martha Célia Ramirez Gálvez; Paulo Dalgalarrondo; Richard Miskollci; Isadora Lins França
Advisor: Heloisa Andre Pontes

The aim of this thesis is to investigate in greater depth some aspects of the intricate relation between embodiment, gender and subjectification, through the analysis of the group of perturbations named “eating disorders”. In the contemporary context, in which the body becomes the privileged target of investment and intervention, assuming a central role in the processes of identity construction, an anthropological investigation of these perturbations allows us to evaluate how the constitution of embodied subjects is fraught with multiple normativities of gender, class, regionality, race and ethnicity, present in daily sociality and in biomedical practices and discourses. Taking as a central axis the composition of three life-histories, in collaboration with women who had personal experiences with eating disorders, it is possible to gain access to the process by means which persons live particular forms of subjectification, composed by distinct inseparable articulations of multiple dimensions of power, becoming, thus, subjects of agency amidst conformation and resistance. If the connecting thread of the thesis is found in the life histories, written with the voluntary research collaborators along four years, its warp is the woven out of the different theoretical and empirical paths of a multi-sited ethnography (HANNERZ, 2003), along the universe of Brazilian virtual communities about eating disorders, an outpatient treatment unit at an University hospital, Psychiatry congresses, a wide bibliography and a feminist community based service for the education, prevention and counseling for eating difficulties in New Zealand. (AU)