Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal

Volume 14, April 2021

Grace Weber
Pages 12-24

The Plate is Political
A Foucauldian Analysis of Anorexia Nervosa

In this paper, I investigate why anorexia nervosa emerged in non-Western nations after Western globalization efforts. Using Simone de Beauvoir’s theory of gender from The Second Sex alongside Michel Foucault’s conceptualization of the “docile body,” I argue that the emergence of anorexia nervosa in non-Western nations reflects the Western sovereign’s subordination of women. While patriarchal oppression is not exclusive to the West, I contend that the political ideology behind Western industrialization has allowed new avenues for patriarchal oppression to permeate. To conclude, I demand that mainstream discourse on anorexia nervosa consider the political conditions which are catalytic to its occurrence.