By Sylvia K. Blood
Are medical 'facts' approximately physique photo adequate to outline conceptions of normality?
Reassessing Experimental Psychology from a serious viewpoint, Sylvia Blood demonstrates how its learn into physique snapshot may be misused and vulnerable to misuse. Classifying girls who event misery and anxiousness with nutrition, consuming and physique dimension as pain 'body photo disturbance' or 'body snapshot dissatisfaction', it will probably reproduce dominant assumptions approximately language, which means and subjectivity. Experimental psychology's discourse approximately physique picture has lately turn into extra greatly influential, changing into popularised via domain names resembling women’s magazines, within which mental specialists offer 'facts' approximately women's 'body snapshot problems', and supply recommendation and mental treatments.
With acute cross-disciplinary information Body paintings: The Social development of Women's physique Image exposes the assumptions at paintings within the tools and standing of experimental ways. Penetrating past the standard dichotomy among experimental and well known psychology, this ebook illuminates a few of the ways that women's magazines have embraced experimental psychology's remedy of the difficulty. Drawing on her event in medical Psychology, Sylvia Blood highlights the harmful results of uncritically experimental perspectives of physique photo. She is going directly to intricate not just an alternate version of discursive building but in addition the results of the sort of conception for medical practice.
Merging idea and scientific event, Sylvia Blood exposes the fallacies approximately women’s our bodies that underpin experimental psychology's physique picture learn. She demonstrates the harmful effects of those fallacies being accredited as truths in well known texts and within the speak of 'everyday' women.
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Extra resources for Body Work The Social Construction of Women's Body Image (Women and Psychology)
Cash, 2002a), while some instruments produced to measure body image states, such as The Body Image States Scale, are ‘appropriately correlated with various trait measures of body image’ (Cash, Fleming, Alindogan, Steadman and Whitehead, 2002: 103). g. Potter and Wetherell, 1987). Focusing on stable traits and patterns of behaviour is considered problematic because it ignores the variety and inconsistency of human behaviour. Doing method – experimental procedures Body image researchers, reflecting the methodological paradigm within which traditional psychology positions itself, assume that scientific methods of collecting data about women’s estimations of body width and their ‘beliefs and feelings’ about their bodies (as objects) will guarantee progress towards complete knowledge of the condition they call ‘body image disturbance’.
EXPERIMENTAL BODY IMAGE RESEARCH whom we meet, whom we marry, and what career path we choose, even if its precise meaning and its role in mental well-being continue to elude psychologists. (Garner and Kearney-Cooke, 1997: 56) From Garner’s definition it is evident that the concept of body image has extended and concretised to become a concept that names something that everyone ‘has’ – something that is measurable and about which truths can be ‘found’. It is also clearly something which is, or should be, important to every person because it plays a major part in everyone’s (most notably women’s) significant life events.
Current Western ideals of beauty and femininity rest on this notion: that physical appearance is constitutive of women’s bodies/subjectivities. The intense interest in ‘women’s bodies’ is focused on women’s physical appearance (implicitly sexualised) and what women think and feel about the way they look. The emphasis on physical appearance reinforces the idea of women’s bodies/subjectivities as primarily/essentially aesthetic. The idea that women’s bodies are more than merely physical appearances, that they might be a product of social discourses, and experienced from ‘within’ or embodied, is precluded.
Body Work The Social Construction of Women's Body Image (Women and Psychology) by Sylvia K. Blood