The body experience and stigmatizing experiences of two obese women
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This thesis addresses the themes body experiences in obese women and stigmatization of obesity. Both the prevalence of obesity and the prevalence of stigmatization of obesity is increasing. Also the amount of conducted bariatric surgeries is increasing. It has been shown in previous studies that stigmatization may affect obese people in negative manners. The objective of this thesis, is therefore to obtain an increased understanding of the bodily experiences in obese women, and to investigate what role stigmatization of obesity play. In this thesis these topics are considered through an qualitative group interview with two obese women waiting for bariatric surgery, and the topics were considered through the participants own experiences. The theoretical approach in this thesis is Merleau- Ponty perspective on the body, which is a phenomenological perspective. The findings of this thesis shows that the participants experience their bodies differently. However, they do also shear many similar body experiences. One interesting observation was that the participants’ often did not finish their sentences and that they changed topics several times in the interview. This may indicate that the topics of stigmatization and body experiences are not topics that raised often, at least not for the participants in this thesis. An other observation was that the choice of pronoun changed almost consistently from I to one regarding statements of personal failures and personal victories, respectively, which may indicate an impersonalization of personal victories. Both of the participants expressed that they found it challenging to lose weight. One reason for this might be stigmatizing beliefs, and the idea that obese people are beyond treatment and that they lack self-discipline. The participants experience how other people approach bodily appearance and dieting differently. There are few statements in the interview that indicate that the participants hold stigmatizing beliefs of obese people themselves, even though this does often occur in obese people (Latner and Wilson, 2011).
Masteroppgave - Norges idrettshøgskole, 2015