Invisible women: exploring weight identity in morbidly obese women

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Title: Invisible women: exploring weight identity in morbidly obese women
Author: Pausé, Caitliñ
Abstract: Within western culture , most women largely identify themselves , and are substantially identified by the greater society , via their bodies . Body identity has been established as a core component of identity , especially for Caucasian , middle class women living within the United States . Many studies have examined body identity , but few have focused on weight identity . Therefore , an exploration of weight identity is integral to understanding how women subjectively define themselves . This dissertation examines role -related weight identity in morbidly obese women . Working from a psychosocial perspective , this study places role -related weight identity within the late modern context to understand how morbidly obese women , that is , women who have a body mass index rating of 40 or higher , conceptualize their sense of themselves . This study defines weight identity as a role in which an individual constructs a sense of self -addressing their body mass and physical representation to the world . Using interview data , this study examined the construction and maintenance of role -related weight identity in morbidly obese women . This dissertation found that for all but one of the women in this sample , weight identity was constructed in a negative way . The unique findings of this dissertation came in the way the women integrated their negative weight identity into their positive holistic sense of self . For some , developmental acceptance of their negative weight identity came through time or familiarity . For others , re -visioning their weight identity , or experiencing themselves as separate from their bodies (disembodiment ) , allowed them to disregard the fat stereotype and live full lives .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /2346 /17431
Date: 2007-12

Citation

Invisible women: exploring weight identity in morbidly obese women. Doctoral dissertation, Texas Tech University. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /2346 /17431 .

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