Wrapping Up Feeding Desire

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9 Apr 2011

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Lecture Five: Wrapping Up Feeding Desire – March 1, 2011
The way that cultural logics come together and translate into cultural values
oIe) Endogamy, Islam, Closedness, Hot vs. cold
Crystallization through fattening - makes the cultural values (intangible)
Sustain each other and define each other
Conceived by Susan Bordo (wrote about body ideals in the West)
Body Ideals in the West
Slim, young, masculine-ish women
Why thinness?
oThe 'innate' beauty of thinness is unquestioned in our society
oNot true in other societies: eg. Asawagh Arabs
oMedia is effective not because it inundates us with images of thinness,
but because it reflects ideals and beliefs already present in society and
reflects it back
Same as how fattening for Azawagh Arabs is influenced by the
desert, but that that is not enough
oCrystallization recognizes the aspects of cultural values (ie. Wealth or
Media) that are related to body ideals (ie. Thinness or Fatness) but that
those reasons aren't enough to really cause the ideal in and of themselves;
more these relationships are part of the merging and reflection of cultural
ideals through bodies.
Axes of Continuity
1.Dualist Axis
a.What's wrong with bodies?
b.Historically and culturally we value the mind over the body; the
spiritual/mental over the biological
c.The body is alien; when you talk about yourself you are talking about
the mind
d.The body is a limitation
e.The body is an enemy
f. The body has to be controlled; the body wants things that are for some
reason bad (ir. Food, sex)
g.Anorexia feeds into all of these things: fights the limitations, reduces
the body itself, controls the body
2.Gender/Power Axis
a.Why women?
b.Switch of gender norms and the distribution of power
c.Thinness is not gender neutral
i.Women are less satisfied with their bodies than men
ii.Women's bodies are harder to 'control'
1.Men associated more with the mind
2.Women typically controlled more than men
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