Some of the material in Compass is restricted to members of the Five College community. By logging in, you may be able to gain additional access to certain collections or items. If you have questions about access or logging in, please use the form on the Contact Page.
Division III includes works cited and appendix. Overeaters Anonymous (OA) is a 12-step program that emphasizes a disease model of compulsive (over)eating and the need for spiritual guidance in recovery. This ethnography examines how members define the origin of their disease and make use of ritual in recovery, often after rejecting medical and culturally popular solutions to overeating. Members found these approaches to be empowering on emotional and spiritual levels precisely because they could shape aspects of the program to their specific needs in healing from disordered eating. In addition, OA acts as a biosociality (Rabinow 1996) in that participants connect over a shared identity constructed through medical and scientific language. Yet, this program exists within a larger Western culture that emphasizes internalization and individualization of regimes affecting body and eating behavior. This research suggests that these aspects of the program simultaneously risk empowering and disempowering OA members, particularly female participants.
Web viewing and download available to anyone.Learn more.