Posted by Pattie on 7/12/2010 08:38:00 PM

I don't like the "contagious" spin, but it doesn't surprise me that there is a guilt by association that happens with stigma.

Interesting study nonetheless.

Two Studies Show Obesity Stigma Is Contagious - Through the Sallyport


SSanders said...

I think it is an important study, but we sociologist are trained to critique research methodology. I wonder:
1) What demographics the sample was taken from? For instance, I notice a marked difference in attitudes in Chicago vs. Cali regarding fat people. There are weight obsessed upper class folk, but the average Chicagoan doesn't really care all that much. I really wonder if uniform results hold true for all socioeconomic, regional and ethnic backgrounds
2) Photos have limitations. Face to face interactions have a multitude of variables that determine our impressions of people. Even listing accomplishments on paper can have its limitations. In real life, personality, tone of voice, even scents and "vibes" can influence how we feel about people. So that study did not take into account any of those dynamics.

I am not trying to minimize fat stigma. But I can also see how the media can spin this in a way that will send people straight to the diet companies. (Creating anxiety to get us to spend more is their job!) The responsible focus would be to bring attention to peoples' biases so they can work on minimizing them. Not scaring women into thinking they don;t have a chance if they don't conform!