chapter  5
19 Pages

THE THIN/ANOREXIC BODY AND THE DISCURSIVE PRODUCTION OF GENDER

In Part II of this book I discussed a genealogy of ‘anorexia nervosa’, exploring the institutional discourses that first constituted the thin woman as an object of medical discourse and that have then continued to constitute and regulate the category of ‘anorexia nervosa’ into the late twentieth century. In Chapter 3 then I explored how women’s self-starvation gradually came into the remit of the medical profession and how ‘anorexia’ first emerged towards the end of the nineteenth century as distinct clinical entity. I continued this genealogy up to the present day in Chapter 4, focusing in particular on how, during the twentieth century, ‘anorexia’ has become a multiply constituted object of an increasing number of academic and clinical discourses. In the third part of this book I shall turn my attention from these institutional discourses to look at popular discourses, the everyday discourses that constitute and regulate women’s experiences of eating and not eating, of losing and gaining weight, of embodiment, gender and identity.