Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/2440/81912
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Type: Journal article
Title: The weight of the word: knowing silences in obesity research
Author: Warin, M.
Gunson, J.
Citation: Qualitative Health Research, 2013; 23(12):1686-1696
Publisher: Sage Publications Inc
Issue Date: 2013
ISSN: 1049-7323
1552-7557
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Megan J. Warin and Jessica S. Gunson
Abstract: In this article, we examine the ethical and methodological tensions entailed in doing qualitative research in obesity studies. Framing our own embodied engagements through critical social theory, we consider how cultural meanings associated with obesity are silenced and negotiated in the research process. This negotiation is fraught with linguistic and corporeal challenges, beginning with the decision to use (or not use) the word obesity in research materials. Obesity is a visible stigma, and we argue that silencing language does not erase the tacit judgments that accompany discursive categorization. It is in a broader context of power relations that we examine the relationship between researcher and participant bodies and the ways in which collective knowingness about fat bodies underpins methodological engagement. The simultaneous presence and absence of obesity have a significant impact on the research process, in shaping both participants' experiences and the researcher's actions and interpretations.
Keywords: embodiment
bodily experiences
obesity
overweight
power
empowerment
reflexivity
relationships
Rights: © The Author(s) 2013
DOI: 10.1177/1049732313509894
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest
Gender Studies and Social Analysis publications

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