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Women and Dieting Culture: Inside a Commercial Weight Loss Group Library Binding – July 20, 2001

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

American women invest millions of dollars in a quest for a body that meets our culture's standard of beauty-slenderness. Since we define a woman's sexual attractiveness as essential to her social worth, it is no wonder that "fat is a feminist issue."

Commercial weight loss organizations have come under attack from feminist scholars for perpetuating the very social values that cause women to obsess about their weight. In Women and Dieting Culture, sociologist Kandi Stinson asks how these values are transmitted and how the women who join such organizations actually think about their bodies and weight. Stinson fully participated in a national, commercial weight-loss organization as a paying member. Her acute analysis and sensitive insider's account vividly illustrate the central role dieting and body image play in women's lives.

As she experiences the program and interviews other members, Stinson discovers that the women's view of the causes and cures of being overweight can be placed in five distinct, though often overlapping, categories: self-help, work, religion, addiction, and feminism. She explores each category and outlines how they form interrelated patterns which, when analyzed, yield an exciting new perspective on the transmission of cultural values. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Kandi Stinson is an associate professor of sociology at Xavier University.

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Product Details

  • Library Binding: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press (July 20, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813529484
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813529486
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,523,396 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Stinson has done an excellent job of capturing the commercial weight loss group which she studied. She not only does an excellent job of explaining and describing the plight of women's obsession with body and weight loss, she also does a wonderful job of tying it into how the lives of women are affected by the dieting industiry and in particular the weight loss group she was looking at. The categories she draws seem relevant and well thought out.
As a senior sociology student myself, Stinson's perspective is insightful yet does not get bogged down in too much theoretical jargon. Even, "mass society" can appreciate the information in this book.
However, if you are looking for something MORE sociological as far as qualitative research methods goes, Stinson does not delve into the methods of her research in much detail. But again, this makes the book acessible to a larger audience.
If you're looking for a better understanding of the dieting industry and how women "participating" in the industry understand their weight and weight loss, check out Stinson's book! You won't be disappointed....
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Format: Paperback
In this book, the author immerses herself in the "diet world." She joins dieting groups like Weight Watchers, buys diet food, and most importantly, talks to dieting women. She is a sociologist, but she not only gathers information about other women, she asks herself the same questions. Although I can see this as a textbook for a women's studies class, I didn't find it a difficult or boring read. I found it fascinating. And as someone who has done quite a bit of my own research in this area, I found a host of new insights and ideas. Very well done.
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