The role of alexithymia in eating disorders has been exstensively studied in Western cultures. On the contrary, studies on alexithymia in the Far East are rare, and its possible role in eating disorders is yet unstudied. After discussing the history and the meaning of the concept of alexithymia in Western cultures, the present paper poses the anthropological question whether alexithymia has a different meaning in Western and Eastern cultures. The sinologist literature on the topic of emotions in China is fi rstly addressed, followed by a review of empirical studies on eating disorders in China. Finally, the results of a preliminary study that compared the role of alexithymia in Italian and Chinese eating disorders are discussed, stressing that the signifi cantly lower alexithymia scores in Chinese eating disorders might be interpreted as strictly connected with the native culture, that is the tendency of Chinese girls to give socially desirable answers. Accordingly, a relevant pathoplastic role of the native culture not only on symptoms, but even on basic traits like alexithymia is suggested.
Keywords anorexia  alexithymia  culture  ethnicity
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Bulemia and Anorexia in an Advertising Context.Robin T. Peterson - 1987 - Journal of Business Ethics 6 (6):495 - 504.
The Fisherman and the Assassin: Reflections on Anorexia Nervosa.Simona Giordano - 2010 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 17 (2):163-167.
Cultural and Historical Aspects of Eating Disorders.Jules R. Bemporad - 1997 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 18 (4).
Eating Disorders.Rida Usman Khalafzai - 2009 - Chisholm Health Ethics Bulletin 15 (1):5.
Elements of Dynamics VI: The Dynamic Unconscious and Unconscious Dynamics.David V. Forrest - 2005 - Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry 33 (3):547-560.
Eating Disorders: The Ethics of Media Reporting.Noelle Graham - 2010 - Bioethics Research Notes 22 (2):25.
Case StudyCommentaryCommentary. Denial - 2010 - Hastings Center Report 40 (6).
Responsibility Without Blame: Philosophical Reflections on Clinical Practice.Hanna Pickard - 2013 - In Bill Fulford, Martin Davies, Richard Gipps, George Graham, John Sadler, Giovanni Stanghellini & Tim Thornton (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Psychiatry. Oxford University Press.


Added to PP index

Total views
217 ( #51,458 of 2,498,399 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
11 ( #67,621 of 2,498,399 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes