The body has come to provide a central site for theory and debate from social theory to cultural studies. This important volume looks beyond psychologyÆs traditional biological body to explore what insights can be gained from recent theories of embodiment. Taking the body as inscribed by social and disciplinary practices, leading contributors explore a wide range of psychological topics in new and challenging ways. Questions surrounding health, gender, history, and culture are addressed in contexts such as the psychology of pain, the treatment of anorexia nervosa, and psychologyÆs relationship to transgender activists. The Body and Psychology brings cross-disciplinary perspectives to bear on the psychological body and, in the process, succeeds in drawing attention to the many embodied qualities of its subject matter. This book will make compelling reading for students and academics in psychology, sociology, and health and cultural studies.
Chapter 9: The Body as a Selfing Device: The Case of Anorexia Nervosa
The Body as a Selfing Device: The Case of Anorexia Nervosa
Abstract. Psychology's conceptualization of anorexia nervosa illustrates how the discipline deals with the body. On the one hand, there is an emphasis on the body as a physiological apparatus. On the other hand, specific approaches such as social constructionism stress the non-physiological body as something to which certain discursive meanings get attached. We propose to view the body as a producer of meaning in its own right, as a ‘selfing device’. To this end we emphasize bodily communication as a continuous flow of co-regulated interaction. The body presents itself as the natural juncture of ‘co-regulative skills’. The ‘selfing process’ involves multiple stylized bodily ...