Interpreting Weight: The Social Management of Fatness and Thinness

What is too fat ? what is too thin ? Interpretations of body weight vary widely across and within cultures. Meeting weight expectations is a major concern for many people because failing to do so may incur dire social consequences, such as difficulty in finding a romantic partner or even in locating adequate employment. without these social and cultural pressures, body weight would only be a health issue. while socially constructed standards of body weight may seem immutable, they are continuously recreated through social interactions that perpetuate or transform expectations about fatness and thinness. Written by sociologists, psychologists, and nutritionists, all of the chapters in this book focus on how people construct fatness and thinness, examining different strategies used to interpret body weight, such as negotiating weight identities, reinterpreting weight, and becoming involved in weight-related organizations. Together these chapters emphasize the many ways that people actively define, construct, and enact their fatness and thinness in a variety of settings and situations.