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Anorexia and Abjection : A Review Essay

Ferreday, Debra (2012) Anorexia and Abjection : A Review Essay. Body and Society, 18 (2). pp. 139-155. ISSN 1357-034X

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    This article draws on a review of Megan Warin’s 2010 book, Abject Relations: Everyday Worlds of Anorexia, to discuss the ways in which a feminist ethnographic approach might disrupt dominant cultural narratives of eating disorders and embodiment. My argument draws on feminist work on figuration and ‘body image’ to discuss how the anorexic body becomes a figure of abjection, both in media images and in popular feminist discourse. I examine how cultural narratives and images are pathologically capable of both engendering disgust in the non-anorexic spectator and, second (and more threateningly), moving vulnerable, female spectators to imitation – a power to affect and infect onlookers which is central to contemporary debates about what is popularly called ‘body image’. By drawing on Warin’s work, the article examines how a critical feminist ethnography might move debates on eating disorders beyond the reproduction of tropes of abjection, disgust and discipline which have led to an impasse in the field, and ask whether, by paying attention to the lived experience of anorexia, it might be possible for the anorexic subject to speak.

    Item Type: Journal Article
    Journal or Publication Title: Body and Society
    Uncontrolled Keywords: anorexia ; affect ; embodiment ; abjection ; disgust ; body image ; eating disorders ; ethnography ; visual culture
    Subjects: ?? hm ??
    Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Sociology
    ID Code: 55279
    Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
    Deposited On: 20 Jun 2012 15:50
    Refereed?: Yes
    Published?: Published
    Last Modified: 25 May 2018 00:21
    Identification Number:

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