Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Research Portfolio Paper Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 2000 words

Portfolio - Research Paper Example Specific examples of stereotypes are that obese people are lazy and thus are less productive workers; that they have no self-control when they are eating; and that they over-present a good-natured personality in their social relationships because they are afraid of being socially excluded. Purpose of the Study The purpose of this research is to explore the extent to which the everyday lives of obese persons are mediated by a set of socially constructed meanings and how those meanings are present in their social relationships. Moreover, particular interest is paid to the process of establishing and maintaining different types of social relationships and how those bonds are considered to be both meaningful and satisfying. The relationship between being obese and losing weight to be socially accepted will also explored as another area where meaning is socially constructed. Review of the Literature: Obesity and Stigma The subject of obesity has been studied sociologically since the early 1960's, most commonly within the concentration of deviance and social control. Specifically, much of this work has focused its attention on how obesity is a kind of physical deviance and is stigmatized because of the external cues it possesses. Stigmatization stems from the possession of an "attribute or characteristic that conveys a social identity that is devalued in a particular social context" (Crocker cited in Abrams et al. 2004). More widely accepted stigmas associate obesity with laziness, social and sexual undesirability, and the externality theory of eating, which states that an obese individual, if given the opportunity, will eat large quantities of food regardless of how hungry he or she is (Puhl & Brownell, 2003a; Maykovich, 1978). An example of a more remote stigma can be found historically and, to a lesser extent, currently amongst some traditional religious circles who stigmatize the obese on the belief that they are gluttons who lack a moral self  ­restraint in th eir eating practices that will lead to their religious damnation (Puhl & Brownell, 2003a). In his work on stigma Goffman (1963) briefly noted that the stigmatization of obesity is based on the principle of visibility, which he defines to be "how well or how badly the stigma is adapted to provide means of communicating that the individual possesses it" (p. 48). In terms of that communication there are three conditions which must be addressed in order to determine how visible and prevalent a stigma actually is. The first condition has to do with how much is already known about what causes the stigma for a given individual who possesses it (Goffman, 1963, p.49). To apply this notion, if previous interactions with an obese person were to have revealed that his or her obesity was caused by factors beyond his or her control and that argument was convincing, based on what knowledge was available to justify the presence of obesity, perhaps that obese person would less likely be stigmatized by whoever were included within those interactions. Moreover, because obesity is based on external cues, it may negatively affect an obese person's ability or willingness to include him or herself in situations that require social interaction. This addresses the second condition of the

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