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ERIC Number: EJ932705
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 28
ISSN: ISSN-1357-3322
Movement of Large Bodies Impaired: The Double Burden of Obesity--Somatic and Semiotic Issues
Wathne, Kjetil
Sport, Education and Society, v16 n4 p415-429 2011
In contemporary obesity discourse, physical activity is routinely portrayed as essential regarding weight regulation. This axiom tends to neglect that health-enhancing exercise may involve categorically different sets of corporeal experiences for obese individuals than for people of other weight categories. Rather, obese people are seen as "fundamentally lazy"--the moral aspects of this have long been debated. Less attention has been paid to how "Western cultural signs and symbols are 'inadequate'" to distinguish how obese bodies are variously adapted to execute given bodily movement. This article is based on a case study of a Norwegian paediatric obesity patient, and uncovers how she has to accommodate her bodily structure when being exertive. It is argued that embodying a particular "configuration" of an obese body makes movement burdensome, which is a situation made worse by the fact that available "symbolic representations" fail to do this bodily reality justice. The discussion thus focuses on the interplay of somatic and semiotic issues--how phenomenological, corporeal concerns and sociocultural mechanisms combine to make obesity a veritable double burden for some individuals. This has very real implications in terms of participation in physical activity, and the debate might therefore offer useful insights to those who in some capacity encourage large adolescents to exercise. (Contains 3 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Norway