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História, Ciências, Saúde-Manguinhos
Print version ISSN 0104-5970
SEIXAS, Cristiane Marques and BIRMAN, Joel. The weight of pathological: bio-politics and bare life. Hist. cienc. saude-Manguinhos [online]. 2012, vol.19, n.1, pp. 13-26. ISSN 0104-5970. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-59702012000100002.
This article analyzes the historical formation of the idea of obesity as illness, starting from the differentiation between the normal and the pathological so as to show the replacement, in present times, of the ancient view of self care by a medicalization of life. In the light of a bio-political interpretation, there is an exposition of how obesity shows, in a paradigmatic way, the play of the various forces within contemporary power mechanisms which have a direct effect on the body, aiming for the control and management of life. From this perspective we develop a criticism of the treatment of obesity bearing in mind the increasing custodianship over life which can be observed in modern states, where the exception has become the rule.
Keywords : obesity; bio-politics; care of the self; medicalization.