Introduction : Fat Agency
The introduction lays the ground for this issue’s critical inquiry into fat and agency. Agency is a crucial yet ambivalent tool for historical, cultural and social analysis. It denotes a combination of self-reliance, self-will and self-respect among historical actors. On the one hand, it is a symbol for the reappropriation of alienated and seemingly overpowering discourses, social relations, and institutions. On the other hand, it often serves as an idealized counterpoint to representations of fat bodies. Therefore, agency is not necessarily and exclusively tied to oppositional acts of resistance or withdrawal, but it is also a premise of the social and political organization of liberal societies: exerting agency performs our compliance with its demands.