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Obesity in organizational context

Levay, Charlotta LU (2014) In Human Relations 67(5). p.565-585
Abstract
This article argues that obesity is an overlooked topic that deserves to be investigated in organizational studies, in line with the recent interest in embodiment. Obesity plays a pervasive role in everyday organizational life as a source of discrimination, legitimization of power differentials and widespread anxiety even for the non-obese. Obesity is also a thoroughly organized phenomenon. It is increasingly construed as a medical and societal problem and the target of massive efforts to curb the 'obesity epidemic'. These include workplace health initiatives that offer opportunities for empirical access to otherwise elusive phenomena related to obesity. To substantiate its claims, the article relates research from several fields, notably... (More)
This article argues that obesity is an overlooked topic that deserves to be investigated in organizational studies, in line with the recent interest in embodiment. Obesity plays a pervasive role in everyday organizational life as a source of discrimination, legitimization of power differentials and widespread anxiety even for the non-obese. Obesity is also a thoroughly organized phenomenon. It is increasingly construed as a medical and societal problem and the target of massive efforts to curb the 'obesity epidemic'. These include workplace health initiatives that offer opportunities for empirical access to otherwise elusive phenomena related to obesity. To substantiate its claims, the article relates research from several fields, notably critical obesity research and empirical studies of embodiment in organizations. It points at intriguing combinations of ubiquitous social influence and failed campaigns, of subjugation and resistance, and of prejudice and critical reflection. Finally, the article indicates directions for future research, which could fruitfully apply and further develop the late-Foucauldian themes of governmentality and technologies of the self. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
organization, technologies of the self, obesity, governmentality, body
in
Human Relations
volume
67
issue
5
pages
565 - 585
publisher
SAGE Publications Inc.
external identifiers
  • wos:000335940900003
  • scopus:84898688123
ISSN
0018-7267
DOI
10.1177/0018726713496831
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
126eba4d-efc9-4522-8a8f-7bbcbed28acf (old id 4470092)
date added to LUP
2014-06-19 10:53:03
date last changed
2017-08-13 03:24:00
@article{126eba4d-efc9-4522-8a8f-7bbcbed28acf,
  abstract     = {This article argues that obesity is an overlooked topic that deserves to be investigated in organizational studies, in line with the recent interest in embodiment. Obesity plays a pervasive role in everyday organizational life as a source of discrimination, legitimization of power differentials and widespread anxiety even for the non-obese. Obesity is also a thoroughly organized phenomenon. It is increasingly construed as a medical and societal problem and the target of massive efforts to curb the 'obesity epidemic'. These include workplace health initiatives that offer opportunities for empirical access to otherwise elusive phenomena related to obesity. To substantiate its claims, the article relates research from several fields, notably critical obesity research and empirical studies of embodiment in organizations. It points at intriguing combinations of ubiquitous social influence and failed campaigns, of subjugation and resistance, and of prejudice and critical reflection. Finally, the article indicates directions for future research, which could fruitfully apply and further develop the late-Foucauldian themes of governmentality and technologies of the self.},
  author       = {Levay, Charlotta},
  issn         = {0018-7267},
  keyword      = {organization,technologies of the self,obesity,governmentality,body},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {565--585},
  publisher    = {SAGE Publications Inc.},
  series       = {Human Relations},
  title        = {Obesity in organizational context},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0018726713496831},
  volume       = {67},
  year         = {2014},
}