Real Bodies pp 151-166 | Cite as

Feeding the Body

  • Janet Sayers


In common with other factors affecting our bodies, feeding is very much socially conditioned. Our bodies are what we feed them, but what we feed them is conditioned by economic, historical, biographical, ideological, and discursive factors. These, in turn, vary systematically with culture, class, and sex. This is particularly evident in conditions of food scarcity and abundance. I will accordingly focus on these conditions in this chapter. I will begin with ways in which scarcity has varied, and continues to vary, with class and sex in Europe and Asia. I will then consider how class and sex, as well as ideological and discursive factors, including fantasy, mediate what women and men feed their bodies in conditions of abundance. Finally I will consider the implications of all this for feminism.


Anorexia Nervosa Eating Disorder Bulimia Nervosa Infant Feeding Food Scarcity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Further reading

  1. Bordo, Susan, Unbearable Weight. Feminism, Western Culture and the Body (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993).Google Scholar
  2. An important text, which examines the relationship between dominant discursive practices in post-modernity, and body size and eating disorders. Orbach, Susie, Fat is a Feminist Issue (London: Hamlyn, 1984).Google Scholar
  3. A classic, and controversial feminist text, which considers women’s relationship to food and the body from a psychoanalytic perspective.Google Scholar
  4. Turner, Bryan, Regulating Bodies: Essays in Medical Sociology (London: Routledge, 1992).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. A seminal work that examines the relationship between society and the body, with a particular focus on the role of medicalized and health-related discourses in the regulation of the body.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Janet Sayers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janet Sayers

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations