The past two decades have witnessed an enormous increase in the number of cases of eating disorders in industrial societies. Richard Gordon brings together historical and cultural perspectives, as well as his own clinical experience, in order to examine the sociocultural roots of this apparent epidemic. The high incidence of these once rare conditions in contemporary societies can be traced to a number of interrelated factors: the changing role of women, the increasingly difficult transition from adolescence to adulthood, the social importance attached to physical beauty which focuses on thin body shape, a general pursuit of health and fitness and, ironically, the glamorization of anorexia in the mass media which has made its symptoms fashionable.
1. Culture and Psychopathology: The Notion of an Ethnic Disorder.
2. Eating Disorders: Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa.
3. Dimensions of an Epidemic: The Epidemiology of Eating Disorders.
4. A Conflicted Female Identity.
5. The Thin Body Ideal.
6. The War Against Fat: Obesity, Dieting, and Exercise.
7. The Templates of a Disease.
8. The Cultural Politics of Eating Disorders.