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What's Wrong with Fat?The War on Obesity and its Collateral Damage$
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Abigail Saguy

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199857081

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199857081.001.0001

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(p.158) Chapter 6 Conclusion
What's Wrong with Fat?

Abigail C Saguy

Oxford University Press

This concluding chapter teases out theoretical and material implications of this study. This book contributes not only to our understanding of how fatness has been framed but more broadly to how social issues come to be defined in particular ways, with specific material implications. It has underscored the central role played by the people, groups, and institutions who participate in debates over fat, showing how their social location shapes their frames and affects the degree of social influence they wield. It has shown how, in this particular case, body size is a relevant part of the social characteristics that shape one's perspective. This book has shown how more powerful players, in terms of economic resources and cultural authority, have more influence in public debate. However, it has also pointed to the power of symbolic meaning. Specifically, master frames represent a potent cultural resource into which savvy people and groups can tap. Thus, the fat rights movement has had more influence than one might expect given their small size and limited resources, in large part because they have been able to link their cause to powerful political U.S. traditions of equality and diversity.

Keywords:   obesity, fat, fatness, frames, body size, social implications, fat rights

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