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From Virtue to Vice: Negotiating Anorexia

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Volume 4

Food, Nutrition, and Culture

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From Virtue to Vice

Negotiating Anorexia

Richard A. O' Connor and Penny van Esterik

252 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78238-455-7 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (March 2015)

eISBN 978-1-78238-456-4 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Buy the eBook from these vendorsRequest a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


"I found this to be a top-notch scholarly work written in a way that will be accessible for diverse audiences including students, professional clinicians, academics, and the interested lay public."  ·  Janet Dixon Keller, University of Illinois


The recovered possess the key to overcoming anorexia. Although individual sufferers do not know how the affliction takes hold, piecing their stories together reveals two accidental afflictions. One is that activity disorders—dieting, exercising, healthy eating—start as virtuous practices, but become addictive obsessions. The other affliction is a developmental disorder, which also starts with the virtuous—those eager for challenge and change. But these overachievers who seek self-improvement get a distorted life instead. Knowing anorexia from inside, the recovered offer two watchwords on helping those who suffer. One is "negotiate," to encourage compromise, which can aid recovery where coercion fails. The other is "balance," for the ill to pursue mind-with-body activities to defuse mind-over-body battles.

Richard A. O'Connor is Biehl Professor of International Studies and Anthropology at The University of the South. He has held postdoctoral awards nationally (Fulbright, SSRC-ACLS, NEH) and abroad (Kyoto University and Institute of Southeast Asian Studies).

Penny Van Esterik is a retired Professor of Anthropology from York University where she taught nutritional anthropology, advocacy anthropology and feminist theory. Past books include Beyond the Breast-Bottle Controversy, Materializing Thailand, and Food and Culture: A Reader (edited with Carole Counihan).

Subject: Medical AnthropologyFood & Nutrition
Area: North America


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