Obesity as a Social Issue Through the Advancement of Technology

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The prevailing conception of obesity is one that holds the individual, and by extent their personal experiences and actions, accountable for their current state. However, this perspective is full of ideology and cultural beliefs, thus, we fail to recognise obesity as a social construct. Alterations in personal milieu can be said to be a product of cultural transformation and the entwinement of institutions. Therefore, to distinguish obesity as a social issue rather than a personal trouble, it is important to identify cultural trends, and the political and economic institutions that transcend the individual. Australia, being a well-developed country, has been subjected to the productive and destructive outcomes of globalisation and development. These processes have shaped individualism, and can be seen to hold responsibility for a number of everyday phenomena. This essay seeks to identify obesity as a social issue through the advancement of technology, gender differences and the socio-economic status of individuals. First however, it is imperative to step away from the familiarity of our lives and look at obesity from a new point of view. (Giddens, 2013) To divulge deeper into the relationships between personal experience and the wider society, and recognize the influential ability of this interaction. It is this act of sociological thinking that C. Wright Mills (2010) called the sociological imagination. For this to occur, a clear distinction between personal troubles and social issues must be made. ‘Troubles occur within the character of the individual and within the range of his immediate relations with others’ (Mills, 2010:7). Meanwhile, ‘Issues…have to do with the organisation of many such milieu into the institutions of a... ... middle of paper ... ...ilt Environment: Making Technology Part of the Solution rather than Part of the Problem", The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, vol. 615, pp. 56-82. Mills, C. Wright. 2010. "Private Troubles, Public Issues." Pp. 5-8 in Sociology: Introductory Readings, edited by A. Giddens and P. W. Sutton. Cambridge: Polity. Patterson, M. & Johnston, J. 2012, "Theorizing the obesity epidemic: Health crisis, moral panic and emerging hybrids", Social Theory & Health, vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 265-291. Townend, L. 2009, "The moralizing of obesity: A new name for an old sin?", Critical Social Policy, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 171-190. Wells, J.C.K., Marphatia, A.A., Cole, T.J. & McCoy, D. 2012, "Associations of economic and gender inequality with global obesity prevalence: Understanding the female excess", Social science & medicine, vol. 75, no. 3, pp. 482-490.

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