TITLE

Consuming bodies: Mall walking and the possibilities of consumption

AUTHOR(S)
Warin, Megan; Moore, Vivienne; Davies, Michael; Turner, Karen
PUB. DATE
August 2008
SOURCE
Health Sociology Review;Aug2008, Vol. 17 Issue 2, p187
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
In popular, academic and policy discourses it is taken for granted that consumption plays a vital role in the obesity epidemic. Mass consumption, associated changes to 'lifestyle' and the emergence of 'obesogenic' environments are viewed as underpinning the dramatic rise in the prevalence of overweight and obesity. As a result, excess body weight has transitioned from risk factor to 'disease' status, with overconsumption identified as the principal culprit. Using mall walking as a case study, this paper aims to critique the way in which consumption is understood within the obesity literature. Rather than view consumption within a dualist framework of either 'neoliberal choice' or 'modern evil', we seek to establish a theoretical foundation for consumption in obesity literature. Mall walking provides a unique opportunity to examine the multiple, complex and contradictory facets of consumption, of how bodies and spaces are reappropriated and transformed by people who are located in an environment that is characterised as 'obesogenic'. In addition to the generation of identities and social relations, mall walking highlights the inherent paradoxes of consumption: of how consumption is positioned as the problem, and at the same time, as the solution to excess. It is via the ethnographic examination of bodies engaged in consumer spaces that new possibilities for thinking about the analytical relationship between obesity and consumption are opened up.
ACCESSION #
34652040

 

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