Thick Bodies, Thick Skins: Reflections on Two Decades of Sociology in Fat Studies
In this article, we offer critical reflections on our engagement with the first two decades of sociological contributions to the field of fat studies. Rather than a comprehensive review of sociological fat studies literature, we instead reflect on the role of our own embodiment as fat, white, visibly able-bodied, queer, cisgender women. We compare the experiences of conducting face-to-face research with fat participants to secondary or content analysis work in fat studies that examines media content, for example. Additionally, we follow Charlotte Cooper to consider our own embodiment in research settings we have experienced during data collection including public health meetings, bariatric surgery conferences, women’s health clinics, and weight-loss groups. Many of these settings could be described as openly hostile towards fat bodies and1 we describe our experiences of moving through these spaces in fat, white, cisgender, visibly able bodies while collecting data from a critical perspective. We also reflect on our own position as scholar/activists within the fat studies and activist communities and describe how our lived experiences influence our work. Finally, we consider future trends and direction for sociological fat studies.
autoethnography, embodied research, fat research, Sociology
Sociology and Interdisciplinary Social Sciences
Natalie Ingraham and Natalie Boero. "Thick Bodies, Thick Skins: Reflections on Two Decades of Sociology in Fat Studies" Fat Studies (2020): 114-125. https://doi.org/10.1080/21604851.2019.1629262