Hyper-Disciplined Corporealities: Youth Experiences and Meanings

Hyper-Disciplined Corporealities: Youth Experiences and Meanings

The aim of this research project is the in-depth analysis of the relationship between corporeity and processes of identity (re)construction among young people, based on the study of two specific cases: anorectic behaviours and overtraining behaviours. These cases correspond to youth manifestations whose visibility is imposed by the singularity and spectacularity that shapes the respective corporal expression, as well as due to the social relevance that is attributed to them, as behaviours seen as psycho-pathological on the increase within the context of Portuguese society. The objective of this research is to inventory the socio-symbolic structure of such behaviours as references of an identity construction at a given moment of the life cycle.

Estatuto: 
Participant entity
Financed: 
No
Keywords: 

Body, Anorexia, Vigorexia, Youth

The aim of this research project is the in-depth analysis of the relationship between corporeity and processes of identity (re)construction among young people, based on the study of two specific cases: anorectic behaviours and overtraining behaviours. These cases correspond to youth manifestations whose visibility is imposed by the singularity and spectacularity that shapes the respective corporal expression, as well as due to the social relevance that is attributed to them, as behaviours seen as psycho-pathological on the increase within the context of Portuguese society. The objective of this research is to inventory the socio-symbolic structure of such behaviours as references of an identity construction at a given moment of the life cycle.

Objectivos: 
The aim is to study some sport and diet practices that seek to exploit the «radical» appearance of the body, with the purpose of understanding and interpreting their cultural meanings and social anchorages. What motivates some young people to choose specific types of radical corporal expressions, often facing grave and significant physical and social risks? What configurations of meaning do they attribute to those bodies? What social conditions propitiate their emergence? What effects do their assumptions produce? Such questionings shall be conducted based on some domains of illustrative observation of youth productions and uses of the body generally considered «radical»: anorectic and overtraining behaviours, in other words, behaviours characterised by intensive adhesion to diet regimes (infra-caloric or hyper-proteinic), respectively often accompanied by the ingestion of substances that promise weight loss (Ex: diuretics) or the increase of muscular mass (Ex: anabolic steroids) and of physical over-exercise, behaviours that came to be or are about to become medically diagnosed pathologies, such as <em>anorexia</em> or <em>vigorexia</em>.
State of the art: 
Parte-se da hip&oacute;tese de que os comportamentos anor&eacute;cticos e vigor&eacute;cticos se caracterizam pela hiper-disciplina na aplica&ccedil;&atilde;o dos regimes corporais que os consubstanciam. Os regimes de restri&ccedil;&atilde;o alimentar e de pr&aacute;tica desportiva corresponder&atilde;o a investimentos expressivos na imagem corporal, materializando projectos geralmente orientados no sentido da adequa&ccedil;&atilde;o a modelos de corporeidade actualmente dominantes, associados a valores de juventude, sa&uacute;de, sedu&ccedil;&atilde;o e sucesso. Sup&otilde;e-se serem modelos de corporeidade, contudo, profundamente clivados por g&eacute;nero: teremos modelos apropriados no masculino, conotados com for&ccedil;a e tonicidade muscular; e modelos apropriados no feminino, associados &agrave; eleg&acirc;ncia e fragilidade corporal. A concretiza&ccedil;&atilde;o desses modelos implica investigar actividades como, respectivamente, a muscula&ccedil;&atilde;o ou as dietas. <br /><br />Tais pr&aacute;ticas, apesar de remeterem para modelos de corporeidade normativa, tamb&eacute;m ter&atilde;o os seus cultores mais ?radicais?, representados por jovens que se excedem na intensidade e frequ&ecirc;ncia com que se aplicam nos regimes mobilizados, desenvolvendo o que designamos de comportamentos hiper-disciplinados. De facto, a concretiza&ccedil;&atilde;o de projectos corporais que recorrem a estrat&eacute;gias diet&eacute;ticas e/ou desportivas, tem vindo a traduzir-se num cada vez maior n&uacute;mero de casos identificados com patologias ou perturba&ccedil;&otilde;es psicossom&aacute;ticas, associadas a comportamentos obsessivos e compulsivos no sentido da restri&ccedil;&atilde;o alimentar (anorexia) ou da pr&aacute;tica de muscula&ccedil;&atilde;o (vigorexia), com quadros de sintomatologia e de diagn&oacute;stico clinicamente definidos. <br /><br />N&atilde;o &eacute; nosso objectivo explicar sociologicamente as ?doen&ccedil;as?, mas compreender as condi&ccedil;&otilde;es objectivas e subjectivas que estar&atilde;o na base do que designamos de comportamentos anor&eacute;cticos e vigor&eacute;cticos. Muito genericamente, entende-se por comportamento anor&eacute;ctico ou vigor&eacute;ctico a conduta que se pauta por um conjunto recorrente e intensivo de ac&ccedil;&otilde;es de vigil&acirc;ncia, restri&ccedil;&atilde;o e disciplina corporal, no sentido de atingir um modelo de corporeidade ?ideal? e desejado, em fun&ccedil;&atilde;o do qual o indiv&iacute;duo passa a organizar os seus tempos e pr&aacute;ticas quotidianas.
Coordenador 
Start Date: 
01/01/2007
End Date: 
31/12/2009
Duração: 
35 meses
Closed