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Title: The “Eat” in Eating Clubs: A Study of the Relationship between Eating Disorders and the Princeton Eating Clubs
Authors: Slear, Cara
Advisors: Duneier, Mitchell
Department: Sociology
Class Year: 2015
Abstract: The goal of this paper is to provide an ethnographic exploration of the eating habits of students at Princeton University. I observed meals at all eleven of the clubs and three alternative meal options in order to gain a surface-level understanding of how these institutions are operated. From there, I surveyed female students in their third and fourth year to gather statistics about various aspects of their experiences with the clubs or independent meal plans. Finally, I conducted in-depth interviews with a selection of survey respondents to uncover larger themes and opinions surrounding the eating culture at Princeton. This research revealed that overall, female students at Princeton struggle with eating anxiety, though not as a direct result of eating club membership, or lack thereof. Alternative explanations are explored, and students revealed concern about their body image and mental health as a result of the club culture. Conversely, females who were not a member of an eating club expressed conflicted and generally negative sentiments towards the clubs, and in some cases this resulted in disordered eating practices and reduced mental state.
Extent: 88 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Sociology, 1954-2017

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