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Journeys of Embodiment at the Intersection of Body and Culture. The Developmental Theory of Embodiment

  • ID: 4226394
  • Book
  • September 2017
  • Elsevier Science and Technology

Journeys of Embodiment at the Intersection of Body and Culture: The Developmental Theory of Embodiment describes an innovative developmental and feminist theory-understanding embodiment-to provide a new perspective on the interactions between the social environment of girls and young women of different social locations and their embodied experience of engagement with the world around them. The book proposes that the multitude of social experiences described by girls and women shape their body experiences via three core pathways: experiences in the physical domain, experiences in the mental domain and experiences related directly to social power.

The book is structured around each developmental stage in the body journey of girls and young women, as influenced by their experience of embodiment. The theory builds on the emergent constructs of 'embodiment' and 'body journey,' and the key social experiences which shape embodiment throughout development and adolescence-from agency, functionality and passion during early childhood to restriction, shame and varied expressions of self-harm during and following puberty.

By addressing not only adverse experiences at the intersection of gender, social class, ethnocultural grouping, resilience and facilitative social factors, the theory outlines constructive pathways toward transformation. It contends that both protective and risk factors are organized along these three pathways, with the positive and negative aspects conceptualized as Physical Freedom (vs. Corseting), Mental Freedom (vs. Corseting), and Social Power (vs. Disempowerment and Disconnection).

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1. The Developmental Theory of Embodiment: Discovering Paths in Girls' and Women's Unchartered Body Journeys
2. Qualified Freedom on Borrowed Territory: Early Childhood (to Age 8)
3. Intense Transitions: Tweens (Ages 9-12)
4. The Practice of Corseting: Early Adolescence (Ages 13-14)
5. The "Perfection" of Corseting: Late Adolescence (Ages 15-18)
6. Re-Capturing Qualified Freedom, Possibilities: Young Adulthood (Ages 19-30) and Beyond
7. Charting a Different Future: Repossession of Bodies Appendix: Methodological Innovations and Implications for Future Research
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Niva Piran Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Dr. Niva Piran is an award-winning author, researcher, teacher, and mentor. She is Professor Emerita at the University of Toronto, a clinical psychologist, and a school consultant. A Fellow of the American and Canadian Psychological Associations and the Academy of Eating Disorders, Dr. Piran developed and implemented the first day hospital program for eating disorders (in 1984) and spearheaded eating disorder prevention. She is a prolific scholar, an author and co-editor of 5 books, and a frequent international speaker on embodiment, body image, and eating disorder prevention and treatment. Her book, Journeys of Embodiment at the Intersection of Body and Culture: The Developmental Theory of Embodiment (2017) won a 2018 Association for Women in Psychology Distinguished Publication Award.
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