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15 March 2021
Weight as a Social Identity: Theoretical and Empirical Advances
Special issue of Fat Studies entitled “Weight as a Social Identity: Theoretical and Empirical Advances,” guest edited by Drs. Jeffrey Hunger and Paula Brochu
The goal of this special issue of Fat Studies is to center fatness in models of social identity that might overlook it or assume it is inherently negative. Social identification can be broadly conceptualized as positive or negative and it varies in strength (e.g., level of social identification). At the same time, social identity consists of multiple components (e.g., centrality, solidarity, satisfaction, ingroup ties). We anticipate prioritizing research that develops or applies theoretical models of social identity to fatness and tests underlying psychological processes, identity management strategies, perceived socio-structural characteristics, and/or its effects (e.g., in-group favoritism, self-esteem, collective action). We especially welcome work that explicitly approaches fat identity from an intersectional perspective, and work that is rooted in stigma resistance and body liberation.
This special issue invites papers that address the concept of fat identity. Potential topics might include, but are not limited to:
- Testing competing theoretical models of social identification as fat
- Coming out as fat/development of a fat identity
- Resisting stigma and reclaiming fatness as a positive social identity
- Strategies for increasing weight-based collective action
- Social identification as a buffer against weight-based oppression
- Fat identity at the intersections of race, gender, and/or sexual identity
Fat Studies is the first academic journal in the field of scholarship that critically examines theory, research, practices, and programs related to body weight and appearance. Content includes original research and overviews exploring the intersection of gender, race/ethnicity, sexuality, age, ability, and socioeconomic status. Articles critically examine representations of fat in health and medical sciences, the Health at Every Size model, the pharmaceutical industry, psychology, sociology, cultural studies, legal issues, literature, pedagogy, art, theater, popular culture, media studies, and activism.
Fat Studies is an interdisciplinary, international field of scholarship that critically examines societal attitudes and practices about body weight and appearance. Fat Studies advocates equality for all people regardless of body size. It explores the way fat people are oppressed, the reasons why, who benefits from that oppression and how to liberate fat people from oppression. Fat Studies seeks to challenge and remove the negative associations that society has about fat and the fat body. It regards weight, like height, as a human characteristic that varies widely across any population. Fat Studies is similar to academic disciplines that focus on race, ethnicity, gender, or age.
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To submit a proposal for inclusion in this special issue of the journal, please send a 250-500 word summary of your article as well as a current CV to Jeffrey Hunger, at [email protected] by September 15th, 2020. Any questions about the special issue can be directed to this email address as well.
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