Topics: Anorexia nervosa, Eating disorders, Bulimia nervosa Pages: 8 (3084 words) Published: February 27, 2013
Evaluate the proposition that society has no right to call itself sane with reference to the role of anorexia and bulimia nervosa? There is no denying from recent studies that the rates of eating disorders every year are increasing. It is evident that these eating disorders are in fact psychological, however with cultures constantly changing and the increase of beauty figures, and images representing thinness in the media, it’s becoming relevant to suggest that society is playing a major role among these weight related issues. The most common explanation is in the scholarly literature review for the appearance of eating disorders in unexpected places, they are becoming a result of the “Westernization” or “modernization” of the society in question ( A, J Lake, P, K Staiger 2002). This means that societies are becoming more modern or western, as specific behaviours involved with eating disorders a becoming meaningful expressions of certain cultures. This essay will conclude the work of Erich Fromm and his opinion on how to behave in a society as well as how to respond toward certain cultures. I will give my opinion on his ideas as well as defining the extent of anorexia and bulimia in societies. Behaviours associated with eating disorders such as bingeing and purging are becoming meaningful expressions of particular culture features. An appearance of eating disorders in a given society is read as evidence of social change, a velar sign that Westernization and modernization are underway and that individual in these societies are becoming increasingly acculturated to modern western values(Chamorro and Florez 2000) Of all the mental disorders recognised in the DSM- IV or ICD- 10 systems of psychiatric classification, eating disorders have most commonly been considered to be linked to “culture” and are described as culture bound syndromes (Lee, S 2004). People with anorexia nervosa are extremely thin and preoccupied with weight. They are unwilling to maintain a healthy weight and unable to see themselves as underweight. They severely restrict or regiment their eating, limiting the amounts or types of foods they consume. Some sufferers take diuretics, laxatives, diet pills, or other stimulant. People with bulimia regularly binge, consuming large amounts of food in a short period of time. Afterward, they compensate by purging—forcing themselves to vomit, taking laxatives or diuretics, eating little or nothing, or exercising excessively. They may or may not be underweight. It is evident that anorexia and bulimia rates are increasing worldwide and Eric Fromm gave his own opinion and believes and what he considered to be a “sane society” by evaluating western societies. He suggests that the mental health of a society cannot be assessed in an abstract manner but must focus on specific economic, social, and political factors at play in any given society and should consider whether these factors contribute to insanity or are conducive to mental stability (Brennan, B 2006 Page 3). Although his work is not based on a total focus on Anorexia and Bulimia, some of his work revolves around the idea of “mental illness”, with some results trying to discover if rates of alcoholism combine with rates of suicide. This work here suggest that these actions are harmful to the citizens society, therefore one could conclude that both anorexia and bulimia are also harmful to citizens, which in turn allow one to recognise that society cannot call itself sane. Fromm differentiates between individuals and societal mental illness suggesting that a person who has failed to attain independence or a genuine sense of self may be said to suffer a "neurosis," while if the majority of a members in a society lack these attributes it should be considered a "socially patterned defect" (Brennan B. 2006 page 3). Fromm states in his work that the concept of social character is not a statistical concept, in the sense that it is simply the sum total of character...

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