Contours of the Nation: Making Obesity and Imagining Canada, 1945–1970

By Deborah McPhail

© 2017

The obesity epidemic that is said to plague nations around the world, including Canada, is not solely a medical condition to be managed. In Canada, the discourse on obesity emerged during a time of social upheaval in the postwar period.

Contours of the Nation is the first book which historically explores obesity in Canada from a critical perspective. Deborah McPhail demonstrates how obesity as a problem was affixed to particular populations in order to separate true Canadians from others. She reveals how the articulation of obesity contributed to the Canadian colonial project in the North; where Indigenous peoples were viewed as modern Canadians due to their obesity, thereby negating any special claims to northern lands. Contours of the Nation successfully demonstrates how histories can trace the actual materialization of bodies through relations of power, particularly those pertaining to race, gender, and nation.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 280 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.5in x 9.0in
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SKU# SP003348

  • PUBLISHED NOV 2017

    From: $23.21

    Regular Price: $30.95

    ISBN 9781442612723
  • PUBLISHED SEP 2017

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    Regular Price: $66.00

    ISBN 9781442644502
  • PUBLISHED OCT 2017

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    Regular Price: $30.95

Quick Overview

Contouring the Nation is the first book which historically explores obesity in Canada from a critical perspective. Deborah McPhail demonstrates how obesity as a problem was affixed to particular populations in order to separate true Canadians from others.

Contours of the Nation: Making Obesity and Imagining Canada, 1945–1970

By Deborah McPhail

© 2017

The obesity epidemic that is said to plague nations around the world, including Canada, is not solely a medical condition to be managed. In Canada, the discourse on obesity emerged during a time of social upheaval in the postwar period.

Contours of the Nation is the first book which historically explores obesity in Canada from a critical perspective. Deborah McPhail demonstrates how obesity as a problem was affixed to particular populations in order to separate true Canadians from others. She reveals how the articulation of obesity contributed to the Canadian colonial project in the North; where Indigenous peoples were viewed as modern Canadians due to their obesity, thereby negating any special claims to northern lands. Contours of the Nation successfully demonstrates how histories can trace the actual materialization of bodies through relations of power, particularly those pertaining to race, gender, and nation.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 280 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.5in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    "In the well-researched and well-argued book Contours of the Nation, McPhail persuasively argues how fatness was portrayed as a modern malady, one that was gendered feminine and white, and thus a concern of white women (who needed to fight their emotional obesity) and white men (who needed to purge themselves of ‘effete’ fatness). This book will be of real importance to the growing field of body and fat studies."


    Amy E. Farrell, Departments of American Studies and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Dickinson College

    "This up-to-date study usefully augments theories of fatness and interrogates the social construction of the obesity epidemic. Contours of the Nation prompts different types of question about this putative public health crisis with the benefit of a historical lens."


    Lee Monaghan, Sociology, University of Limerick
  • Author Information

    Deborah McPhail is an assistant professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences in the Max Rady College of Medicine at the University of Manitoba

  • Table of contents

    Introduction

    Chapter 1: "This is the Face of Obesity": Race, Class, Gender, and the Feminization of Fat

    Chapter 2: The "Kitchen Demon" and the "Tubby Hubby": Reproductive labour and the nuclear family in obesity discourse

    Chapter 3: "Of Missiles and Muscles": Fitness, Masculinity, and Obesity during the Cold War

    Chapter 4: "The White Man’s Burden"? Obesity and Colonialism in the Developing North

    Conclusion: Asking Different Questions

    Bibliography

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