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Obesity - Cruel Optimism

We inhabit a precarious world of crisis which mocks the post-war promise of upward mobility, so claims theorist Lauren Berlant. Laurie also hears of life in an obesity clinic.

We inhabit a precarious world of crisis and calamity which mocks the post war promise of upward mobility, social equality and job security. We remain attached to the unachievable fantasies of the good life, even though they are thwarted at every turn. That's the cheering claim of the cultural theorist Lauren Berlant. She and Laurie are joined by the sociologist, Professor Bev Skeggs, to analyse what she calls the 'cruel optimism' of contemporary life.
Also on the programme, Karen Throsby talks of her ethnographic study of an obesity clinic and the hidden moral element to every aspect of the procedure.
Producer: Charlie Taylor.

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28 minutes


  • Wed 8 Feb 2012 16:00
  • Mon 13 Feb 2012 00:15

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