Discrimination – “a positive or negative attitude toward an individual based on his or her membership in a religious, racial, ethnic, political, or other groups”. (Webster’s New Word Dictionary). Discrimination is still among our nation and our world today. Many people would argue this accusation, but the fact is that if discrimination was not still present then why are there laws still banning it? Discrimination can be viewed as favorable or unfavorable, depending if a certain party receives favors or opportunities, or that party is denied these favors or opportunities. Discrimination is not just among races or ethnic groups, it is among different genders, religions, preferences in partners, and different economic qualities. The people of the world today argue about discrimination all the time. Why is it still among us? Why do people still rant and rave about it? What can be done? Why don’t we just let it be? These are the questions that people ask all the time. But, in fact, none of these questions are ever solved because of the beliefs of society. Society has put discrimination into stereotyping and many other different forms, but the point is that discrimination is here to stay and most likely will never leave.
Affirmative Action is used for a diversity in the workplace or university so that discrimination can not be apart of the work environment. But, this is not the case. If discrimination was not among us than why is Affirmative Action still in play. Affirmative Action’s whole use was to get rid of discrimination but, owners of companies or schools still can find a way around the system.
For us to understand the impact of obesity and why we should prevent it, we will need to figure out the causes of obesity and what keeps people obese....
Perhaps one of the last comparatively socially acceptable bases for discrimination, weight has not traditionally been treated as a protected category under civil rights laws. There have, however, been increasing calls for weight-based discrimination to be directly prohibited, and it has been in several jurisdictions that ban various types of “personal appearance” discrimination (including Michigan; the District of Columbia; San Francisco and Santa Cruz, California; Madison, Wisconsin; Urbana, Illinois; Binghamton, New York; and Howard County, Maryland). These laws tend to be seldom used, but another strategy is to address weight-based discrimination indirectly by prohibiting disability-based discrimination.
The ADA defines disability as having “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities,” having a record of such impairment, or being regarded as having such an impairment. In the past, obese persons have had little success convincing courts that they satisfy this definition, and in general, the few who have succeeded have been severely obese, able to establish that their obesity had a physiological cause, or both. In 2008, however, Congress amended the ADA to clarify its intention that disability be understood quite broadly. Moreover, the question of whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity must now be determined without regard to the ameliorative effects of mitigating measures, which might include diet and exercise.
In the present paper, we present a modest attempt to start filling this gap by looking at the connections between biopedagogies, obesity discourse and youths’ constructions of health. Using a critical discourse analysis method informed by poststructuralist theory, we examine the text of individual or small group conversations with 144 Canadian youths. Considering the participants’ wide range of social and cultural locations, we also explore the articulation of various identity categories in relation to the discursive constructions of health and the body.
In brief, most epidemiology- and physiology-based obesity studies have been part of state science while they present themselves as apolitical and non-ideological. At the same time, they have widely circulated an obesity discourse that constitutes a good example of micro-fascism at play in the contemporary scientific arena because they rely on ideological norms of the good, responsible, and thus healthy, citizen. If we were to contrast this state science with the work of feminist theorists, we could say that the latter have made explicit their epistemological commitments and have championed an understanding of the body that is social and political. Their writings on weight and obesity have generally considered the ways in which women negotiate social and cultural ideals of femininity associated with bodily appearance (for example, ; ; ; ). A number of feminist, queer, and disability theorists have also addressed the social constructions of fatness and have challenged the power relations and oppressive practices associated with such constructions (for example, , ; ; ; ; ; ). In sum, feminist scholars have presented a good number of theoretical writings on weight and obesity and these have led to a number of critical social questions that have rarely been answered empirically. Much research is needed to fill this gap and, more generally, to inject contemporary feminist debates concerning ‘obesity’ with more grounded material.
Legal standards largely accord with this formulation, with some additional nuance. Although physicians owe substantial duties to their existing patients, including an obligation to avoid abandonment, initiation of a doctor–patient relationship is voluntary for both parties. There is, however, an important exception: physicians may refuse a prospective patient only for a reason that is not prohibited by contract or law. Local, state, and federal laws prohibit certain types of discrimination against patients. For example, many states prohibit places of “public accommodation,” including doctors' offices and hospitals, from discriminating on the basis of characteristics such as race, color, national origin, nationality, ancestry, religion, creed, age, marital status, familial status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, medical condition, disability, or other personal features — although, beyond the baseline federal protections, the grounds that are included vary by jurisdiction. Title VI of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance, including Medicaid and Medicare. The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 adds disability to that list, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in any place of public accommodation, including health care providers' offices or hospitals, regardless of funding source.
The most powerfully ideological practices are those that claim that their ‘facts’ are non-ideological because they are ‘scientific.’ Such practices have certainly prevailed in obesity science. In this paper, our objective is not to get the ideology out of obesity science but to get ideology out of hiding, to expose it for what it is. In that line of thinking, we should thus see obesity as a construct that is forcibly materialized through time. It is not a simple scientific fact or the static condition of a body, but a process whereby regulatory norms materialize obesity and achieve this materialization through a forcible reiteration of those norms. Granted, the fiction of obesity has material effects and we will offer an example below, drawing on some empirical materials. As a linguistic construction, obesity is not stable, working as it does by always re-establishing boundaries and a zone of abjection – a zone often established through the Body Mass Index (BMI). Obesity also works through the endlessly repeated performative acts that mark individuals as obese or not obese. Obesity can thus be unveiled not only as the violation of an artificial norm but also in reference to a norm that is subject to change.
Collectively, these laws prohibit many but not all grounds for discrimination against potential patients. Race, religion, sex, and disability are among the most uniformly protected categories, whereas less than half of states prohibit health care discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, for example. Moreover, the rejection of patients because they smoke, play contact sports, or engage in other risky behavior is legally within the realm of physician discretion, as is discrimination based on other characteristics not protected by law. Some bases for discrimination fall within a gray zone, however, and discrimination based on obesity raises some particularly challenging issues.