The Anorexic Self: A Personal, Political Analysis of a by Paula Saukko

By Paula Saukko

Seriously examines diagnostic and well known discourses on consuming issues.

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Extra resources for The Anorexic Self: A Personal, Political Analysis of a Diagnostic Discourse

Sample text

The tablets confuse me. I can’t think. The rites break my day. I eat diet ice cream without any good or bad feelings. I have no choice. Their regime is stronger. It breaks mine. Other patients. There is a boy who has had polio. Once his father shows me his second-grade picture. A round-faced brown-haired boy. Now he is fifteen. He also had been there the year before. Then he could utter some simple words, now he only sits crooked in his wheelchair and roars during the nights. The “fats” (children who are hospitalized to lose weight) eat 1300 calories a day.

Furthermore, what makes Bruch’s work particularly interesting to study is that she conducted research both on obesity and anorexia, thereby highlighting the connections between the definitions of the two eating disorders. Bruch’s long career, which spanned from the thirties to the seventies, also provides a good opportunity to examine how changing historical conditions have shaped the way eating too little or too much is understood. To examine the historical context of Bruch’s work, I will locate it within developments in world history, in the history of psychiatry, and in her personal biography.

I used to have dreams about eating fish and chips,” and was complimented by a medical commentary: “Dr Moss says: ‘It’s not surprising that someone like Tracy Shaw ended up with an eating disorder . . It’s definitely related to the lifestyle of a star. Pressure to have good appearance is an important part of life for them’” (Roberts, 2000). I thought back to my teenage years. I had bad, infected adolescent skin, and I used to be mesmerized by the magnified images of the models’ 24 The Anorexic Self unblemished, velvety skin in glossy teenage magazines.

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