Shifting the discourse around large bodies
Ingrid Ruud Knutsen, RN, PhD from Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences and University of Oslo, Norway is the author of our current featured article that explores the health consequences of contemporary society’s views about large bodies. The article is titled “A Discursive Look at Large Bodies—Implications for Discursive Approaches in Nursing and Health Research. Dr. Knutsen shared this message for ANS readers about her work:
How have we come to understand obesity as an illness that is treated by surgery and medication in contemporary health care? Through research projects, I have experienced that people in large bodies often feel stigmatized, especially by health professionals. There are reasons to question whether the general attitude towards people in large bodies represent a greater challenge than the large body itself for obese people. For what is health? – is it happy, self-confident people enjoying life and their opportunities or is it people striving towards a perfect exterior? For scientists it is important sometimes to stop and question premises for our knowledge, conditions and situations, to reflect about whether we could serve patients better by approaching them in other ways and understand their situations through alternative perspectives. A reflective and critical approach related to how to challenge understandings we take for granted represents an important angle in research. Discursive perspectives and discourse analysis are based on an epistemology welcoming other questions and new approaches to challenge traditional knowledge and understandings. Such perspectives give opportunity to enrich research in nursing and health.
We would be delighted to see your comments and responses appear here! You can download your copy of Dr. Knutsen’s article while it is featured on the ANS web site, then come back here to leave your comments!