The body as a selfing device: The case of anorexia nervosa
SourceTheory & Psychology, 6, 4, (1996), pp. 693-713
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI SCP
Theory & Psychology
Psychology's conceptualization of anorexia nervosa illustrates how the discipline deals with the body. On the one hand, there is an emphasis on the body as a physiological apparatus. On the other hand, specific approaches such as social constructionism stress the non-physiological body as something to which certain discursive meanings get attached. We propose to view the body as a producer of meaning in its own right, as a 'selfing device'. To this end we emphasize bodily communication as a continuous flow of co-regulated interaction. The body presents itself as the natural juncture of 'co-regulative skills'. The 'selfing process' involves multiple stylized bodily skills that testify to people's ability to take part in the life-world. Anorexia is seen as a disturbance of those skills.
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