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Annotated Bibliography - Research Paper Example

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Annotated Bibliography Statement of topic. The study of gender can be approached from many different angles and some of these are very obvious, such as the existence of double standards in the treatment of males and females in society, but others are more subtle…
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Download file to see previous pages Within that broad topic there is also the reality of women’s experience as they grow up and are socialized into a context where their appearance is problematized. Women are then doubly disadvantaged because they suffer discrimination in the workplace in terms of pay levels, and then they additionally feel compelled to adhere to an idealized body image in order to be successful in their lives. Conditions like anorexia nervosa and bulimia are connected with these social pressures. The topic which I would like to concentrate on is how these subtle gender pressures arise, and how they are manifested in the experience of younger adults. Schools are an obvious area where more research could be done on the multiple pressures on girls and it would be interesting also to explore cultural differences and how they affect body image. I am interested especially in the large scale unwritten assumptions of consumerist society and pressures that exists below our daily consciousness, especially in the way that institutions are set up, and in the hidden messages that exist all around us. Annotations. Biddick, Kathleen. “Genders, Bodies, Borders: Technologies of the Visible. Speculum Vol. 68, No. 2 (April 1993): 389-418. Kathleen Biddick is a professor of history at Temple University, Philadelphia and her article concentrates on the way that women’s history has been rendered invisible by the process of recording history, and then recreated in modern times in a way that is quite problematic. The example of Medieval women mystics is used to show how issues of gender and culture are closely related, and how dimensions such as multiple ethnicities and a dominant Christian religious world view make it difficult to unpack the reality of women’s experience in the distant past. Illustrations of medieval art are used to demonstrate certain points but the author does not make it easy for the reader to follow her arguments. At times there is more discussion in the footnotes than in the main text, and this adds unnecessary distraction to an already complicated theme. This article raises very interesting theoretical issues, but it is too abstract to be of much use in contemporary empirical studies. Bordo, Susan. Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, Tenth anniversary edition, 2003. As the title suggests, this book approaches the issue of female body image from a feminist perspective. It is structured thematically around concepts which mostly relate to the cultural pressures on women to conform to a stereotype which preserves hierarchies of gender. Bordo sees conditions such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia as the “chrystallization of culture” (p. 139). This means that she interprets them not as disorders, or aberrations but as logical expressions of postmodern American culture, which she describes as being built on the systematic repression of women and girls. Bordo considers a diverse range of cultural forces, including pressure on African American women to be voluptuous, and the tendency to medicalize women’s bodies, especially during pregnancy. This is a wide ranging book that explores what is happening to women, and it is refreshing in its openness to multiple influences. It also usefully examines exactly how this is done through different communications media, and many aspects of society that are so deeply ingrained as to seem natural, despite their harmful effect on women. Evans, John, Emma Rich and Rachel ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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