Becky Thompson-A way outa no way

Becky Thompson-A way outa no way - "A Way Outa No...

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"A Way Outa No Way": Eating Problems among African-American, Latina, and White Women Author(s): Becky Wangsgaard Thompson Reviewed work(s): Source: GenderandSociety, Vol. 6, No. 4 (Dec., 1992), pp. 546-561 Published by: Sage Publications, Inc. Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/189725 . Accessed: 11/02/2012 11:34 . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. Sage Publications, Inc. is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Gender and Society. http://www.jstor.org
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"A WAYOUTANO WAY": Eating Problems among African-American, Latina, and White Women BECKY WANGSGAARD THOMPSON Prnceton University This article offers a feminist theory of eatingproblems (anorexta, bulimia, extensive dieting, and bmnging) based on life history interviews with African-American, Latina, and white women. Until recently, research on eatingproblems has focused on white middle- and upper-class heterosexual women. While feminist research has established why eating problems are gendered, an analysis of how race, class, and sexual oppression are related to the etiology of eating problems has been missing. The article shows that eating problems begin as strategies for coping with various traumas including sexual abuse, racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, andpoverty. Identifying eating problems as survival strategies shifts the focus from portraying them as issues of appearance to ways women take care of themselves as they cope with trauma Bulimia, anorexia, binging, and extensive dieting are among the many health issues women have been confronting in the last 20 years. Until recently, however, there has been almost no research about eating problems among African-American, Latina, Asian-American, or Native American women, working-class women, or lesbians.' In fact, according to the norma- tive epidemiological portrait, eating problems are largely a white, middle-, and upper-class heterosexual phenomenon. Further, while feminist research has documented how eating problems are fueled by sexism, there has been almost no attention to how other systems of oppression may also be impli- cated in the development of eatingg)roblems. AUTHOR'S NOTE: The research for this study was partially supported by an American Assoctation of University Women Fellowship in Women's Studies. An earlier version of this article was presented at the New England Women's Studies Association Meeting in 1990 m Kingston, Rhode Island. I am grateful to MargaretAndersen, Liz Bennett, Lynn Davidman, Mary Gilfus, Evelynn Hammonds, and two
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Becky Thompson-A way outa no way - "A Way Outa No...

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