Dilemma of weight loss : a study of body politics in Hong Kong

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

Dilemma of weight loss : a study of body politics in Hong Kong

 

Author: Lo, Suk-ling Villy
Title: Dilemma of weight loss : a study of body politics in Hong Kong
Degree: M.Phil.
Year: 2007
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations.
Weight loss -- China -- Hong Kong.
Department: Dept. of Applied Social Sciences
Pages: 259 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2189808
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/679
Abstract: This thesis investigates the reasons for losing weight. People of Hong Kong have witnessed a trend of pursuing slimness since the past decades. While fitness centres advocate weight loss, there has been an increasing number of organizations against this idea. People, especially female, appear to be encountering a dilemma: to lose weight or not to lose weight. This thesis would examine how females react to this dilemma with respect to three dimensions, namely personal, feminist and theoretical. The key concept employed in this study is 'reflexive body modification' and the methodology is guided by tenets of narrative inquiry. The methods are three-fold, including interviews, participant observation and researcher's autobiography. In the research process, the researcher interviewed eighteen respondents, was involved in two organizations and analyzed her personal experience of losing weight. This research found out that females' practice of weight loss was because of multiple and plentiful purposes. They also employed various strategies to achieve these purposes. It also found that females are not cultural dupes, and are possible to resist against the social discourses that females hope for the discourses for starting their practices on body. When they are going through the process, they are being shaped by those discourses but at the same time they can negotiate with those and mark out their new chapters on lives. Females can feel being self-accepted and confident through their growing capacity on bodily sensation and space acquired. In the future, I suggest late coming researchers can try investigating a wide range of other females' body work in the local context, like the surgery, the make up or the women's fashion. The various body works are actually divided by different clusters of practitioners and manifested in different forms, the ongoing investigation will help develop a general picture of women's body world.

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