Repository logo
 

Thinking outside the laboratory box : the individualization, surveillance, and moralization of obesity within The Biggest Loser

Date

2010-06

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

ORCID

Type

Degree Level

Masters

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to better understand the ways in which scientific discourse contributes to the individualization and moralization of obesity, through reality television. Popular reality television programs emphasize the importance of lifestyle to health and wellness, often focusing on participant weight loss. Within this research, I describe the ways in which the obesity epidemic is approached in popular reality television, specifically in NBC’s The Biggest Loser, and identify how the discourse of obesity is tied to issues of individualization, surveillance, and morality. Specifically, I undertake a laboratory study of The Biggest Loser to illustrate how this methodology can be extended from the traditional laboratory into a space of science that has no formal walls. With a focus on the seventh season of The Biggest Loser, I argue that the program is based on a human experiment that illustrates the interconnectedness of science and society, while perpetuating individualized and moralized obesity discourse. By conducting a laboratory study of a popular television program, I offer a new way to address obesity discourse

Description

Keywords

Surveillance, The Biggest Loser, Laboratory studies, Individualization, Moralization

Citation

Degree

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Department

Sociology

Program

Sociology

Citation

Part Of

item.page.relation.ispartofseries

DOI

item.page.identifier.pmid

item.page.identifier.pmcid