Abstract

This article argues that commercial weight-loss organizations appropriate and debase the askeses—practices of care of the self—that Michel Foucault theorized, increasing members' capacities at the same time as they encourage participation in ever-tightening webs of power. Weight Watchers, for example, claims to promote self-knowledge, cultivate new capacities and pleasures, foster self-care in face of gendered exploitation, and encourage wisdom and flexibility. The hupomnemata of these organizations thus use asketic language to conceal their implication in normalization.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2001
Print ISSN
0887-5367
Pages
pp. 126-149
Launched on MUSE
2006-02-23
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Archived 2009
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