Re:living the body mass index: How A Lacanian autoethnography can inform public health practice
In this paper, I demonstrate how autoethnography can be utilized as a methodology to conduct public health research. My argument is structured around an application of Jacques Lacan’s psychoanalytic theory which I see as supporting and extending a critical understanding of the so-called obesity epidemic and related issues. I argue that the body mass index (BMI) measure has achieved an unconscious position as a ‘Sovereign Good’ and, as such, provides the moral and ethical mechanism through which state-sanctioned science, via the wider weight-loss industry, prescribes people into a state of weight anxiety. I conclude that public health practitioners who find themselves promoting weight loss towards the ‘healthy’ range of the BMI are in an unethical position, one that should be entirely rejected. Instead I point to the ethics of desire as an alternative position that might help public health practitioners who are interested in actually improving public health.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: School of Management, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
Publication date: August 8, 2015