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The Biopolitics of Lifestyle


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Table of Contents

Introduction - The Lifestyle Problematic Chapter 1 - Obesity, bioethics and the lifestyle dispositif Chapter 2 - Lifestyle as Politics: Choice and Responsibility Chapter 3 - Lifestyle as Health: Articulating an 'Urgent Need' Chapter 4 - Lifestyle as Identity: Consumption and the Ethics of the Self Chapter 5 - A Cacophony of Guidance: Hearing, Seeing and Judging Choices Chapter 6 - Styles of Resistance: The Body, Counter-Conduct and Critique Chapter 7 - Relations of Care: Restless and Endless Transformation Conclusion - Style, Solidarity and Security

About the Author

Christopher Mayes is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine (VELiM).


"What is especially productive in Biopolitics of Lifestyle is the clever disavowal of worn debates about the ethicality of, or personal responsibility for, fatness. Instead, Mayes reveals what he calls an "enabling network," or intersections of knowledge, power, and subjectivity, which renders people who are supposedly harmful to society visible and governable. The enabling network makes "obesity" a major social, political, and economic problem, locates responsibility for harms caused by fatness in individuals, and simultaneously hides structural forces that contribute to corpulence... those without particular interest in fat studies but who employ the work of Foucault will be keen to see the innovative examinations of biopolitics in this book. In attracting diverse readers of Foucault, I hope the book will push them to question their own conscious or subconscious participation in weightism."

- Rebecca Scott Yoshizawa, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada, Fat Studies

"Although a central focus is government health campaigns, this volume demonstrates that the network of lifestyle emanates from a variety of overlapping domains and disciplines, including public health, clinical medicine, media, entertainment, school programmes, advertising, sociology, and ethics."

- L.A. Reisch & F.C. Doebbe, Journal of Consumer Policy

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