By Mervat Nasser
Anorexia nervosa and bulimia are one of the few psychiatric syndromes with a believable socio-cultural version of causation. problems with tradition and slimness tend to be thought of by way of the adventure of the western global, yet there's a becoming physique of analysis suggesting that drawback with slimness is turning into extra everyday in non-western cultures.
In Culture and Weight Consciousness, Mervat Nasser brings jointly this learn and appears on the contemporary emergence of consuming issues in cultures that have been formerly freed from such difficulties. She relates the feminist theories which have been recommend to give an explanation for the phenomenon of consuming issues within the west to the situation of recent ladies in lots of non-western cultures and concludes that their place isn't really in any respect that various from that in their western opposite numbers. This leads her to handle the present boundaries of the concept that of tradition and draw out the consequences for destiny research.
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Extra info for Culture and Weight Consciousness
The impact of immigration on the development of eating pathology was further highlighted in another report of three Vietnamese refugees who also developed their eating disorder within a short time of their arrival in the USA (Kope and Sack 1987). These reports clearly showed that eating disorders did occur among ethnic minorities living in the UK and the USA. The frequency of presentation, however, judged by the number of these reports, was still much less than would be expected in the white community.
This was in keeping with the overall impression that eating disorders are still considered rare in China. The rarity was explained on the basis that the majority of Chinese girls are slim anyway, if not underweight by western standards. A comparison of the ideal weight charts showed more than 5 per cent difference between Chinese and western girls of the same height (Lee et al. 1989). However, some cases of eating disorders were still found among the Chinese population. The Chinese constituted two thirds of the identified anorexic cases in Malaysia, which was attributed to their higher level of urbanization and affluence in relation to other ethnicities there (Buhrich 1981).
While it is true that disordered eating revolves around the notion of thinness which is cherished and glorified by the prevailing culture, the disorders express themselves in varying degrees of severity. They blur and merge with normative, culturally acceptable modes of behaviour like dieting. It is also clear that these disorders are gender specific, which may have something to do with women’s position and perception of their role and value within society (Nasser 1988, Gordon 1990). If we go back again to Devereux’s model of ethnic disorder, we can find that there are elements within this model that clearly apply to eating disorders.