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Samlal, Keisha

Samlal, Keisha

PhD. Candidate in Sociology at University of West Indies - St. Agustin @ University of West Indies - St. Agustin


Keisha Samlal is a PhD. Candidate (Sociology) and teaching assistant with the Department of Behavioural Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine campus. Her academic background includes the areas of Communication Studies, International Relations, and Sociology. Her current research focuses on the social construction and experience/s of the fat female body within Caribbean society, while other areas of research interest include, mentoring in higher education and statistics education among university students.

Geographical location : Trinidad and Tobago

Research Area and Interest : mentoring in higher education and statistics education among university students

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Acceptable Fatness: Exploring Female Fatness in Trinidad and Tobago
Summary: This study is an exploratory sociological investigation of female fatness within the context of Trinidad and Tobago. It aims to interrogate the social construction of meanings and values around female fatness, taking into consideration the wider socio-historical contexts that shape and influence the experiences and treatment of fat women, within Trinidad and Tobago. The intention is to extend the investigation to examine the active negotiations of fatness by fat women in Trinidad and Tobago, beginning with their first-hand experiences. Thus, it begins at the individual level and seeks to connect these personal experiences of fatness to the wider structures and systems of power within the society, thereby undertaking a multi-level analysis of the construction of female fatness in Trinidad and Tobago. Utilizing intersectionality as a theoretical framework, qualitative methodology was employed to guide this research. Through narrative inquiry as the research design, interviews were conducted with 11 participants residing in Trinidad and Tobago, who either identify or have been stigmatized as fat women. The data was analyzed through thematic analysis. A key theme emerging from the data analysis was the ‘thick’ female body, as an acceptable type of fat body for women in Trinidad and Tobago. According to the data, the ‘thick’ woman is a popular female identity in Trinidad and Tobago and while the scholarly literature predominantly addresses the fat female body as negative, the findings suggest a level of acceptability and attractiveness around female thickness within Trinidad and Tobago.

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