CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

Based on sixty semi-directive interviews, this article analyses situations of weight-based stigmatization and discrimination and compares experiences of interviewees categorized as “overweight” or “obese” by health professionals. These differences are shown to be subject to variation by the interviewees’ gender, class, and age. During the episodes of stigmatization in which an unequal interaction order is produced, the interviewees, however, deploy strategies of “saving face”. The article shows that they are particularly helpless in the face of discrimination at the workplace, a key site of defining their social status. The description of these situations highlights the frequency, virulence, and extent of such acts in French society.

  • Stigma
  • overweight
  • obesity
  • stigmatization
  • public place
  • discrimination
  • job
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