The mindful body: a Foucauldian analysis of the individual body in British lifestyle television

Heath, Sophie (2011) The mindful body: a Foucauldian analysis of the individual body in British lifestyle television. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Over the last decade, television lifestyle programmes featuring food and diet experts advising us on how and what to consume have risen in popularity, and within this discourse the topics of a "normal" healthy diet, body weight and patterns of consumption are often under particular scrutiny. This dissertation argues that such lifestyle programmes are problematic as they situate complete responsibility for the body at the level of the individual, ignoring class based, gendered ideals, social, cultural and economic concerns. Using Foucauldian analysis this essay addresses conflicting and hypocritical state manipulation of desires and consumption, arguing that post-capitalist individualisation encourages us to consume and regulate simultaneously, causing ill informed confusion over our identity and relationship with food. This dissertation deduces that there are many different circumstances that may lead to the development of a "deviant" body, yet through neo-liberal media discourse obsessed with "healthism", society continues to be ill informed, prejudicial and ignorant towards bodily diversity, inappropriately holding onto the propagated slim, fit body ideal.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2012 09:30
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:58

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