Effects of fat stigmatization on the behavioral and emotional lives of women of size voicing silence through theatre of the oppressed /

by Jester, Juliagrace J.

Abstract (Summary)
EFFECTS OF FAT STIGMATIZATION ON THE BEHAVIORAL AND EMOTIONAL LIVES OF WOMEN OF SIZE: VOICING SILENCE THROUGH THEATRE OF THE OPPRESSED by JuliaGrace J. Jester Research has shown that Women of Size are victims of particularly strong stigmatization (Hebl & Heatherton, 1998; Myers & Rothblum, 2005; Neumark-Sztainer, Story, & Faibisch, 1998; Quinn & Crocker, 1998; Wang, Brownell, & Wadden, 2004). Much of this previous research has focused on the ways in which thin individuals view People of Size in hypothetical situations (by looking at employment applications, or fictitious patient files, etc.). The goals for this project were: to work with Women of Size to learn how being members of this stigmatized group influences their lives; to explore how Theatre of the Oppressed methods can address the needs of a stigmatized group who may have internalized the stigma; to explore both the individual stories and shared meanings of the experiences of Women of Size; and to conduct research that acknowledges that in order to understand stigmatization, you need to talk to the victims of the stigma. It is the supposition of this project that experiencing fat stigmatization has a Silencing effect on women. In order to address this issue and get around this Silencing, a Theatre of the Oppressed based methodology, along with interviews, was used with a group of Women of Size. Theatre of the Oppressed is an activist theatre method which involves engaging in theatre games to get participants comfortable with exploring issues in a physical manner, creating images that are visual responses to a prompt such as “Show me what it is like to be a Woman of Size”, and, arranging a scene that has a conflict in it, with the goal of repeating the scene several times while trying out possible solutions to the conflict. Eleven women were interviewed about their experiences as Women of Size, 6 of whom then participated together in the Theatre of the Oppressed workshop. Results indicated that these women had many experiences with stigmatization in their lives that led to internalization of negative messages. Particularly strong responses came in terms of experiences with doctors and romantic relationships.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Miami University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:human females stigmatization obesity qualitative theatre of the oppressed weight body image in women overweight drama


Date of Publication:

© 2009 All Rights Reserved.