Toronto Metropolitan University
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Whiteout and the reproduction of (fat) white normativity :a critical discourse analysis of the presence of whiteness in fat studies literature

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posted on 2021-05-23, 13:20 authored by Samantha Zerafa
This Major Research Paper consists of a critical discourse analysis of the operation of whiteness in the field of fat studies, focusing on how it becomes invisible and consequently manifests in emergent theorizing, especially at its establishment as an academic discipline. Two fat studies readers were selected, one published then and one written more recently, with six chapters selected from each. Using a dialectical-relational approach, these texts were analyzed both individually and intertextually to look at the origin stories of the field, the use of language to obscure whiteness, and the need for critical race/intersectional approaches. Findings show that fat studies has, and predominantly continues to, find itself in a self-imposed state of ‘whiteout’, through which Black, Indigenous, and Racialized people, voices, and experiences are sanitized, marginalized, or erased altogether. To challenge this, fat studies must take up whiteness and white supremacy toward its goal of fat liberation for all.





  • Master of Social Work


  • Social Work

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • MRP