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“Not fat, maybe thick, not too skinny”: Resisting and Reproducing Health and Beauty Discourses in Urban Jamaica

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dc.contributor.advisor O'Doherty, Kieran Barned, Claudia 2017-08-16T17:21:22Z 2017-08-16T17:21:22Z 2017-07 2017-07-17 2017-08-16
dc.description.abstract This dissertation critically analyzes the ways in which urban Jamaican women position themselves within culturally available discourses on health and beauty. Forty-One Jamaican women from the Kingston and St. Andrew area of Jamaica were interviewed about their conceptualizations of health and beauty. I examine varied meanings of health, and identify the dominant and subversive health discourses (the healthism discourse, obesity epidemic discourse and slim-thick healthy body discourse) that are available to Jamaican women. Using a feminist post-structuralist framework, I analyze how Jamaican women take up, resist and partially resist these discourses. I then describe the characteristics of a beautiful body in Jamaica. I identify a light-skinned beauty ideal and demonstrate the pervasiveness of this conceptualization of beauty. I also illustrate how Jamaican women refer to Jamaica’s history of colonialism and slavery as explanations for modern-day conceptualizations of beauty in Jamaica. I show how notions of beauty intersect with socially constructed categories of race and class and discuss the intersection of gender, race, and class in relation to the subjectivities of urban Jamaican women. I conclude by considering the need for more inclusive ways of thinking and speaking about women’s bodies in Jamaica and beyond. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.rights Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada *
dc.rights.uri *
dc.subject Body image en_US
dc.subject Beauty en_US
dc.subject Health en_US
dc.subject Discourse en_US
dc.subject Jamaica en_US
dc.subject Women en_US
dc.subject Feminism en_US
dc.subject Urban en_US
dc.subject Fatness en_US
dc.subject Obesity en_US
dc.subject Fluffy en_US
dc.subject Poststructuralism en_US
dc.subject Critical Psychology en_US
dc.subject British Colonialism en_US
dc.subject Caribbean en_US
dc.subject Slavery en_US
dc.subject Intersectionality en_US
dc.subject Inclusivity en_US
dc.title “Not fat, maybe thick, not too skinny”: Resisting and Reproducing Health and Beauty Discourses in Urban Jamaica en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US Psychology en_US Doctor of Philosophy en_US Department of Psychology en_US
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada