The Friday Five: Checking our Vital Signs

How are you feeling? For some, health is a state of mind, for others it’s the absence of disease and for others still, it’s just about feeling normal.  This week on The Friday Five, we check the health status of various groups and institutions through our top stories from the week:

  • Obesity is considered a disease by the American Medical Association, but unlike other diseases obesity can be a choice and maybe that’s ok? Judge for yourself @ Salon
  • Is complaining healthy for social theory? Let’s hope so because sociology grad students have enough complaints to fill a semester! @ Inside Higher Ed
  • A card-carrying vegetarian and self-proclaimed hippie (her attendance at Burning Man, residence within a co-op and yoga instruction offer enough proof for us!) tries to quell the nation’s anxiety about GMOs.  @ Slate
  • Would on-demand access to info on your REM sleep or knowledge of the fluctuations in your heartbeat over the last five minutes make you a health nut or just drive you nutty? A new app may offer us more health information than we can handle. @ NPR
  • A Yale physician and sociology professor provocatively argues the social sciences are in need of resuscitation.  An interesting critique that has likely sparked a lot of discussion within many academic departments this week.  @ NY Times Sunday Review

So now it’s up to you to decide—is this a clean bill of health?

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2 thoughts on “The Friday Five: Checking our Vital Signs

  1. “When you’re obese, you are your body”, that is Laura Bogart’s observation in the Salon article. I wonder if that sentiment is coming from “health nuts” that spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about their health & bodies–with gizmos that provide TMI and campaigns against GMOs.

  2. I tend to be a little skeptical of postmodern approaches to disease; I’m inclined to say “hey, there’s something biological and physical going on here, even if we might differ in terms of how we interpret it.” But I wonder if this sort of attitude reinforces my (mild) hypochondria! “Hey,” I might protest, “This isn’t all in my head or just a construction; I really do have Parkinson’s disease/glaucoma/heart disease/etc.” Maybe a little postmodernism would be good for my peace of mind…

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