The Contemporary Body and the Problem of Anorexia Nevrosa

Uses and Subjective Practices of the Body
By Isabel Fortes

This article aims to establish a correspondence between the dominant position the body assumes both in today’s culture and in the current psychoanalytical clinic, and the growing incidence of anorexia that has taken shape over recent decades. First, some important facts are presented to indicate the presence of the body in present-day culture, based on the concepts of “somatic individual” and “cerebral subject”. In the psychoanalytical clinic, some symptoms are understood as occurring directly in the body, unassociated by the patient with any psychical conflict. Anorexia nevrosa is here examined to show one way in which psychical pain becomes manifest in the body itself, considering two traits detectable in contemporary subjectivity which are relevant in the anorexic syndrome: the disturbance in the creation of a body image and the denial of otherness.

  • contemporary body
  • the psychoanalytical clinic
  • corporal symptoms
  • anorexia nevrosa
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