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In modern society, issues relating to fat, weight, physical activity, health, fitness, and body shape are never socially or morally neutral. This special issue of the Sociology of Sport Journal (SSJ) features articles that show how obesity is not only a biomedical problem, but a sociocultural problem. The authors focus on the public discourses that demonize fat, the sociocultural meanings of fat, and the taken-for-granted assumptions that fat is wholly bad, even egregious.
SSJ aims to stimulate and communicate research, critical thought, and theory development on issues pertaining to sociology and sport. The leading and most authoritative journal in the field, SSJ maintains its strong commitment to the field by presenting analyses from diverse theoretical and methodological perspectives, and welcomes new voices to the discussion of sport, play, games, exercise, leisure, and body culture.
Fatness, Fitness and the Moral Universe of Sport and Physical Activity
Kathy Zanker and Michael Gard
Pathologizing “Fatness”: Medical Authority and Popular Culture
Men, Physical Activity, and the Obesity Discourse: Critical Understandings from a Qualitative Study
Lee F. Monaghan
Athletic Fatness: Forgiving Corpulence in Elite Bodies
Big Girls Don’t Cry: Fitness, Fatness, and the Production of Feminist Knowledge
Unbearable Lessons: Contesting Fat Phobia in Physical Education
Heather Sykes and Deborah McPhail
Running Big: Clydesdale Runners and Technologies of the Body
Laura Frances Chase
Margaret Carlisle Duncan, PhD, has studied media depictions of women's bodies and body practices and examined how body ideals are subtly created and reproduced through certain features of photographs and written text in popular magazines. Dr. Duncan's ongoing research interest relates to portrayals of female athletes and women's sports in the media. In addition, Duncan is studying the intersections of race, class, and gender and how they shape one's experience of one's body and how these social factors interact to affect body image and body culture.
Duncan is a former president of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS), a former president of The Association for the Study of Play (TASP), and a past editor of the scholarly journal, Play & Culture. She is also on several editorial boards. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Kinesiology and Physical Education (AAKPE), was named a Wisconsin Teaching Fellow, and currently serves on the advisory board of The Women's Sports Foundation.