Durkheim and Financial Collapse - Obesity
DURKHEIM and FINANCIAL COLLAPSE
In his book Suicide, French sociologist Emile Durkheim discussed the nature and the consequences of economic crisis. Steven Lukes, Professor of Sociology at New York University, debates Durkheim’s contention that the prospects created by economic disaster, like the current financial crisis, leads to an increase in misery and suicide.
Nowadays obesity is spoken in terms of an epidemic, and according to some scientists in the United States, to stay thin one should eat sensibly, exercise, but also wash their hands. Like SARS, or bird flu or even bubonic plague, obesity is treated as a contagion and evidence is produced to support the assertion. But is this disease model of obesity, and talk of the ‘Global Obesity Epidemic’ just the latest in a long line of strategies for shifting responsibility for being over weight away from individuals? And is being fat always a bad thing anyway? Sander L. Gilman is the author of a new book about attitudes towards fat. He joins Laurie Taylor and social anthropologist Henrietta Moore to discuss the cultural history of obesity.