McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts
embodiment, critical phenomenology, qualitative research, fat studies, clinical ethnography
This dissertation was an exploratory study of experiences of fatness in boyhood using a hermeneutic phenomenological qualitative method. The author conducted in-depth, open-ended interviews with participants who identify as men and for whom fatness or related body-difference was an issue in childhood or adolescence to gather data on the meanings of fatness for boys and the men they become. Data analysis was organized around the existential dimensions of embodiment, temporality, and relationality. Themes emerging from this analysis included a) the discovery of fatness as ambiguous meanings mediated by others, b) fatness as a problem in a horizon that does not include its solution, c) fatness as care - care as a problem for masculinity; d) moments of arrest, in which hitherto ambiguous meanings are crystalized and intrusive; e) the oscillating character of fat experience; f) fatness’s as complicating factor or threat to masculine identification. Themes were discussed in dialogue with critical phenomenological and intersectional frameworks, including exploring fatness as a productive site for problematizing narrow constraints of masculinity.
Leadem, S. (2023). EMBODIED FATNESS IN BOYS: A CRITICAL PHENOMENOLOGICAL STUDY (Doctoral dissertation, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/2142