‘Blindness to the obvious’?: Treatment experiences and feminist approaches to eating disorders

Holmes, Su (2016) ‘Blindness to the obvious’?: Treatment experiences and feminist approaches to eating disorders. Feminism and Psychology, 26 (4). pp. 464-486. ISSN 0959-3535

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Abstract

Eating disorders (EDs) are now often approached as biopsychosocial problems, but the social or cultural aspects of the equation are often marginalised in treatment - relegated to mere contributory or facilitating factors. In contrast, feminist and socio-cultural approaches are primarily concerned with the relationship between EDs and the social/ cultural construction of gender. Yet although such approaches emerged directly from the work of feminist therapists, the feminist scholarship has increasingly observed, critiqued and challenged the biomedical model from a scholarly distance. As such, this article draws upon data from 15 semi-structured interviews with women in the UK context who have experience of anorexia and/or bulimia in order to explore a series of interlocking themes concerning the relationship between gender identity and treatment. In engaging the women in debate about the feminist approaches (something which has been absent from previous feminist work), the article explores how gender featured in their own understandings of their problem, and the ways in which it was - or rather wasn’t - addressed in treatment. The article also explores the women’s evaluations of the feminist discourse, and their discussions of how it might be implemented within therapeutic and clinical contexts.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: eating disorders,anorexia,bulimia,feminism,treatment
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Art, Media and American Studies
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Film, Television and Media
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2016 12:01
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2020 00:48
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/58315
DOI: 10.1177/0959353516654503

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