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date: 25 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Sociocultural factors have long been implicated in body image and eating disorders. Decades of data, drawn from multiple disciplines, consistently demonstrate the influence of culture on body image and eating disorders across several levels of analysis. This chapter engages the rich empirical literature on this subject to retheorize the role and importance of these contextual factors in light of anthropological and related social theories relevant to contemporary circumstances. Specifically, this chapter first analyzes and operationalizes what we mean by “culture” in body image and eating disorder scholarship, describes trends in salient sociocultural factors, and highlights the varying impacts of globalization where societies are increasingly interconnected. It also urges research that builds on current understandings by increasing collaborations among not only multiple disciplines within the social sciences but also biological and clinical sciences.

Keywords: body image, culture, cross-cultural, eating disorder, globalization, interdisciplinary, intersectionality

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