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StanceSociolinguistic Perspectives$
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Alexandra Jaffe

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195331646

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331646.001.0001

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Attributing Stance in Discourses of Body Shape and Weight Loss

Attributing Stance in Discourses of Body Shape and Weight Loss

(p.227) 10 Attributing Stance in Discourses of Body Shape and Weight Loss

Justine Coupland

Jaffe Coupland

Oxford University Press

Personal body weight is a burgeoning but complex moral and social policy arena in Britain and the USA. It is an arena where people are subject to medical but also non-medical interventions, advice and influence. Discursive interventions sometimes take the form of stance attribution, where individuals' orientations to their own bodily shape and weight are articulated ‘for them’. This chapter analyzes data from two very different contexts - a geriatric medical clinic and magazine texts dealing with body shape and weight - to show how different voices take authoritative and impositional stances, partly by ascribing evaluative and motivational stances to recipients (patients or readers). The chapter shows how ideologies of ageing are infused into these discourse processes, based in normative assumptions about bodily aesthetics, control and health.

Keywords:   stance, attribution, ideology, body, health, aging

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