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At Home and in the FieldEthnographic Encounters in Asia and the Pacific Islands$
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Suzanne S. Finney, Mary Mostafanezhad, Guido Carlo Pigliasco, and Forrest Wade Young

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780824847593

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824847593.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HAWAII SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hawaii.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hawaii University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HSO for personal use.date: 03 August 2020

Tiptoeing among the Knowledge of the Bodies and the Bodies of Knowledge in Tonga

Tiptoeing among the Knowledge of the Bodies and the Bodies of Knowledge in Tonga

Chapter:
(p.265) Tiptoeing among the Knowledge of the Bodies and the Bodies of Knowledge in Tonga
Source:
At Home and in the Field
Author(s):

Gaia Cottino

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824847593.003.0044

This chapter is a journey among bodies of knowledge and knowledge of bodies in the Kingdom of Tonga. It seeks to gauge the obesity phenomenon in an archipelago that ranks fifth in the worldwide World Health Organization obesity classification. The research revealed here contrasts Western and Tongan worldviews of human bodies, revealing Western norms of “thinness” to be cultural constructs. Today in Tonga, the slim body sizes valued by the Western world meet the bigger ideal body sizes still valued as part of the grandmothers' worldview, creating a differentiated bodyscape in which two ideals coexist and are constantly negotiated, influenced not only by older generations' and Western views but also by the growing biomedical concern about obesity.

Keywords:   obesity, body sizes, bigger bodies, ideal body, Tonga, thinness

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