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The Cult of Thinness Paperback – October 13, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0195178784 ISBN-10: 0195178785 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 2 edition (October 13, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195178785
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195178784
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.5 x 5.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #661,924 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sharlene Hesse-Biber is at Boston College.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By B. Woodell on March 16, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is great! A great overview of disordered eating in America. Ordered it for my Sex and Gender in Society class but still enjoyed reading it.
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By Anna Jones on October 15, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I picked this book up off of my stepsister's desk -- she was reading it for a gender studies class -- and I was so drawn in by it that I had to get my own copy. It is a sociology book, so it is somewhat drier and more academic than most pop psychology volumes. But the author did an excellent job exploring the cultural forces of America's puritanical heritage, capitalist values, and deep-seated sexism, and how they play out in contemporary women's lives. What looks at first like an individual affliction is the product of widespread cultural phenomena. Contextualized in this way, some of the stigma of the desire to be thin is broken down.

As one of millions who has struggled with disordered eating, body dysmorphia, and subsequent confusion and shame, I felt a great sense of relief and forgiveness towards myself upon reading this book. Hesse-Biber's writing is insightful and sensitive toward her subjects. She uses interviews and narratives well, and avoids cliches and stereotypes.

I would highly recommend this text to anyone looking for insight into this phenomenon that has got so much of the developed world under its thumb. By nature of the topic, it may be triggering for readers with severe eating disorders. Nonetheless, I would recommend it to teachers, parents, or counselors working with young women.
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By Melissa Rowe on November 14, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very interesting subject matter of social and media representations of female body image and it's cultural impacts. Disturbing realities are within these pages, excellent read.
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More About the Author

Dr. Sharlene Janice Nagy Hesse-Biber is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Women's & Gender Studies Program at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, MA. She has published widely on many issues, including the impact of sociocultural factors on women's body image as well as methodological and methods issues, including the role of technology and emergent methods in social research.

Her scholarly interests include mixed methods research, women and body image, feminist theory and methods, qualitative methods, micro-computing and qualitative data analysis, and women's health.

Sharlene is also the co-developer of the software program HyperRESEARCH, a computer-assisted program for analyzing qualitative data, and the new transcription tool HyperTRANSCRIBE. Free demos of these programs can be found here.

You can visit Sharlene's personal webpage at: http://www.drhessebiber.com/

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