Moral Biocitizenship: Discursively Managing Food and the Body after Bariatric Surgery

Cindi SturtzSreetharan, Sarah Trainer, Amber Wutich, Alexandra Slade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In the U.S. large bodies are associated with disorder and lack of control. Reclaiming control can take various forms. Drawing on interviews with eight men who have undergone bariatric surgery, we analyze the specific ways in which they discursively retake control of food, their eating habits, and ultimately their bodies. They accomplish this in two ways: 1) by both (re)categorizing food and transforming the way they consume food, the men linguistically locate their bodies within a sphere of moral biocitzenship; 2) through indexicality and speaking as experience, these men describe themselves as exerting appropriate control over their bodies and food on their own terms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-240
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Linguistic Anthropology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2018


  • Biocitizenry
  • Indexicality
  • Morality
  • Post-bariatric surgery
  • Speaking as experience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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