Fragmented Histories, Fragmented Selves: Body Weight Preoccupation among Women in Post-Communist Romania
Keywordsbody weight preoccupation
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AbstractThe emergence of body weight preoccupation in developing countries previously characterized by food insecurity has received limited sociological attention. This paper reflects on the lived experiences of minority women in post-communist Romania, as they navigate the rapid economic, political and social transformations taking place in the country. This is especially relevant, as Romania has experienced a rapid emergence of eating disorders shortly after the fall of communism. In examining the blurring of the boundaries between the individual and political bodies along with the loss of self that accompanies culture change, I argue that body weight preoccupation can serve as a counter movement to re-establish certainty through focus on the body. I find that in post-communist Romania, the self’s experiences under the old regime are re-embraced and are used to adapt to a radically new society.