- Copyright Page
- About the Editors
- About the Contributors
- Toward a Sociology of the Body
- Methodologies for Categories in Motion
- Pregnant Embodiment and Field Research
- Sensory Experience AS Method
- Mixed Methods in Body and Embodiment Research
- YouTube Vlogs as Illness Narratives: Methodological Consideration
- Representations of Fatness by Experts and the Media and How This Shapes Attitudes
- Health at Every Size (HAES<sup>™</sup>) as a Reform (Social) Movement within Public Health: A Situational Analysis
- Fat as a Floating Signifier: Race, Weight, and Femininity in the National Imaginary
- Animal, Mechanical, and Me: Organ Transplantation and the Ambiguity of Embodiment
- Aging, Gender, and the Body
- Beyond Binary Sex and Gender Ideology
- Male Breast Cancer in the Public Imagination
- Good-Looking Men Require Hard-Working Women: The Labor of Consumption in the Grooming Industry
- Feeding and Fasting Bodies
- Contrasting Scientific Discourses of Skin Lightening in Domestic and Global Contexts
- Unruly Bodies: Figurative Violence and the State’s Responses to the Black Panther Party
- Race, Phenotype, and Nationality in Brazil and the United States
- The Aesthetic Labor of Ethnographers
- Bodies That Don’t Matter, but Labor That Does: The Low-Wage Male Migrant in Singapore and Dubai
- Embodied Spatial Practices and the Power to Care
- Contesting New Markets for Bodily Knowledge: When and How Experts Draw the Line
- Managing Risky Bodies: From Pregnancy to Vaccination
- The Artificial Pancreas in Cyborg Bodies
- Contesting Lyme Disease
- “Laying Hands” and Learning to Touch and Grab in the Police Academy
- The Place of the Body in Resistance to Intimate Partner Violence: What Do We Know?
Abstract and Keywords
Treating women as helpless victims of social conventions or as neoliberal, postmodern subjects to understand “food femininities” obscures the fact that bodies are situated in social hierarchies. Social functions and roles tied to the female body bring about difference in eating and dieting practices. This chapter applies Bourdeusian analysis to the dieting and religious fasting practices of forty-eight women in the rapidly neoliberalizing city of Kolkata, India, to show how structurally rooted dispositions inform rules of engagement surrounding eating. Dieting and religious fasting, though simultaneously self-gratifying and strenuous, took on very different meanings depending on how they enabled women to seek recognition and meaning in their daily lives. The women who dieted projected their bodies onto the public sphere to secure the benefits that the new economic order could bestow, while familial fasts were an embodiment of the collective, material struggles less privileged women encountered on a daily basis.
Jaita Talukdar is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at Loyola University, New Orleans. Her research lies at the intersection of gender, culture, globalization, body, and health. In her projects, she focuses on how modern individuals interpret and, in the process, modify social and cultural meanings about body and eating. Her writing has appeared in journals such as Qualitative Sociology, Sociological Focus, Women’s Studies, International Forum, American Journal of Sociology, and Contemporary Sociology, as well as in the Routledge Handbook of Science, Technology, and Society (2014). Currently, she is investigating how the advent of American-styled gyms is transforming nationalist institutions of physical culture in the city of Kolkata.
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