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Q: How would a symbolic interactionist explain the problem of obesity?
A: An interactionist would look at obesity in terms of symbolic interactions with other members of society. Even though obesity rates are high, there is still stigma attached to being overweight. [ People do not treat the overweight the same way they would treat a person who is at an ideal weight. Getting a job and shopping for clothes that fit are difficult tasks. A person who is obese gets
glances everywhere he or she goes, and likely has low self-esteem. It is tough to have your intellect, skills and worth doubted because of your weight. A rich person may doubt whether his/her friends are true friends. But, an obese person may think that his/her friends are around because their friends will always feel “pretty” or “skinny” in comparison. Finally, interactionists look at socializing as one of the roots of this epidemic. Food is typically at the heart of social events including business events, dates, parties and even a weekend catch-up session with Mom. Usually, it is unhealthy food that is served. Both perspectives are in definite agreement that obesity is an epidemic that needs to be tackled. An American population with 75% of us being obese in less than ten years is extremely frightening. These sides differ in that the interactionist perspective simply looks at the day-to-day implications of obesity, whereas the conflict theory takes a larger look at the cause of the disease. I think the interactionist theory helps us understand the people involved-obese vs. normal weight. It's also helpful in terms of looking at the symbolism within these daily interactions, as well as the social construct that being skinny is more beautiful, according to celebrities, fashion magazines and everyday people. But, the conflict perspective helps us understand the root of this epidemic, as well as hints at how to target obesity. ]
Expert answered|emdjay23|Points 2417|
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Asked 10/2/2013 7:44:22 PM
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