By Sylvia K. Blood
Are clinical 'facts' approximately physique photo adequate to outline conceptions of normality?
Reassessing Experimental Psychology from a serious point of view, Sylvia Blood demonstrates how its learn into physique photo should be misused and at risk of misuse. Classifying ladies who event misery and anxiousness with nutrition, consuming and physique measurement as affliction 'body photograph disturbance' or 'body photograph dissatisfaction', it might probably reproduce dominant assumptions approximately language, that means and subjectivity. Experimental psychology's discourse approximately physique snapshot has lately turn into extra extensively influential, changing into popularised via domain names resembling women’s magazines, within which mental specialists supply 'facts' approximately women's 'body photograph problems', and provide suggestion and mental treatments.
With acute cross-disciplinary know-how Body paintings: The Social development of Women's physique Image exposes the assumptions at paintings within the equipment and standing of experimental methods. Penetrating past the standard dichotomy among experimental and renowned psychology, this publication illuminates a number of the ways that women's magazines have embraced experimental psychology's therapy of the difficulty. Drawing on her adventure in medical Psychology, Sylvia Blood highlights the dangerous results of uncritically experimental perspectives of physique snapshot. She is going directly to complicated not just another version of discursive building but additionally the results of one of these idea for scientific practice.
Merging idea and scientific adventure, Sylvia Blood exposes the fallacies approximately women’s our bodies that underpin experimental psychology's physique photograph study. She demonstrates the damaging effects of those fallacies being authorized 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)
The responses inevitably are going to fit within the assumptions and the ‘knowledge’ already produced within the theoretical frames of the researchers in their laboratories, and will necessarily reinforce those findings. In this way, body image researchers are simply describing their own production. 19 BODY WORK This point is developed further in this book as I discuss the relationship between experimental psychology’s (manufacture of) body image and many women’s daily (problematic) experience of embodiment.
There has been induced in many women, then, in Foucault’s words, a ‘state of conscious and permanent visibility that assures the automatic functioning of power’. (Bartky, 1988: 81) There are parallels between the self-surveillance practised by many women in their daily lives and the self-surveillance re-enacted in the laboratory under the instruction and gaze of body image researchers. Both the researcher and the women subjects are to see her body as an object. They must scrutinise her body size and shape, and make ‘accurate’ and ‘objective’ estimations of the width of her face, chest, hips and thighs.
That is, how someone thinks about him/herself – or reality – can only be ‘made up’ from the cultural beliefs and meanings available at any historical moment. Most social constructionists take a relativist position which foregrounds difference and diversity rather than universal standards of judgement. Attention is paid to who sees and how they see. Differences amongst and between people are taken into account in terms of the various ways that they comprehend experience and give meaning to objects, events and processes in their social world.
Body Work The Social Construction of Women's Body Image (Women and Psychology) by Sylvia K. Blood
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