Hopefully this is a bit more coherent than my last post, though my brain is a bit hazy right now. That is, I know at some point prior to now I’ve had a better conception of the topic, but I wanted to get some of it down now in order to start the process, get some feedback, and at least get some of it in order.
So generally, I want my topic to focus on the body acceptance movement – the radical notion that fat people are, well, people (That quote doesn’t work as well here) – It’s something that I’ve been introduced to through my wife, and has really opened my eyes to many forms of discrimination, and yet often seems downplayed even in feminist contexts. I also think there’s a really neat connection in what we discussed today, and that perhaps the dualistic disconnect from mind and body contributes to this stigma, and perhaps a way of thought which holizes self in both mind and body would be beneficial (or at least is crucial for design (Well, anywhere. But here where bodies are the focus, there’s no way around it)). Regardless, I want to avoid any medical issue, and approach it from social and ethical direction.
I’m not entirely sure how I want to focus the HCI-side of it however. I’d considered focusing on one of these body data fitness devices that have come up in class a few times, like the FitBit, question what values it’s promoting (and since I’m going to disagree with them, posit values that I feel it should be promoting). However, this seems like a bit of a low hanging fruit. Of course the fitness industry is going to produce devices which devalue people while promoting a social image of beauty. That’s the entire point. More importantly, I’m not personally interested in these sorts of devices, or this industry, and find the issue more important from a social or personal position.
Reference wise, I think I’m pretty well off. I have good resources for body acceptance writings from my wife, and I think tons of the readings that we’ve done across many classes apply. I’d be especially looking at the 3rd wave foundations papers (esp. Feminist HCI and Critical/Cultural Design), and many of our IC readings (perhaps Folkmann to get at the social/ethical dimension, Dunne and Raby’s ideas of design as a way of looking for alternate/possible futures, and what do you know, this accultured body idea (The Film Theory paper in general) seems pretty damn important. Shusterman and Somaesthetics will be crucial as well. Basically, I believe I have a bunch of good material (Though more would be great) – but not a solid direction/lens/example to examine through.