Dr Karin Eli

Karin Eli

Research Affiliate

Karin Eli is a medical anthropologist whose research focuses on eating disorders, obesity, and the body, alongside food activism, social class, and social mobility. Karin’s research ranges from the intimacies of narrative, identity, and embodied experience to the structures of socioeconomic stratification and food governance. Through her interlinked research foci, Karin interrogates eating disorders and obesity as multi-level conditions that call for integrated phenomenological and structural approaches.

Current research interests:

1. Relationships between social mobility, embodied practice, and obesity within and across generations  

2. Structural vulnerability and barriers to care among socioeconomically and geographically marginalized people with eating disorders

3. Women's spaces, body cultures, and wellbeing in gender-segregated religious communities (with particular focus on Hasidic communities in London)

For a full list of publications: https://oxford.academia.edu/KarinEli

Participant information sheet for the project: 'Addressing the needs of eating disorders patients in Israel's geographic and socioeconomic peripheries'.

Selected publications

Eli, K. (forthcoming) Striving for liminality: Eating disorders and social suffering. Transcultural Psychiatry.

Eli, K. and Lavis, A. (2016). Becoming fit to be a mother: Class, learning, and redemption in Supersize v. Superskinny. Journal of Gender Studies (early online) DOI:10.1080/09589236.2016.1178630.

Eli, K., Howell, K., Fisher, P. A., & Nowicka, P. (2016). A question of balance: Explaining differences between parental and grandparental perspectives on preschoolers' feeding and physical activity. Social Science & Medicine, 154, 28-35.

Eli, K., Dolan, C., Schneider, T., and Ulijaszek, S. (2016). Mobile activism, material imaginings, and the ethics of the edible: Framing political engagement on and through the Buycott app. Geoforum, 74, 63-73.

Eli, K. (2016). “The body remembers”: Narrating embodied reconciliations of eating disorder and recovery. Anthropology & Medicine, 23(1), 71-85.

Eli, K. (2015). Binge eating as a meaningful experience in bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa: A qualitative analysis. Journal of Mental Health24(6), 363-368.

  • Using a new socioepidemiological questionnaire to analyse associations between intergenerational upward social mobility and body fat distribution: a pilot study with the Oxford BioBank cohort.

  • Changes in parental feeding practices and preschoolers' food intake following a randomized controlled childhood obesity trial.

  • Responding positively to "children who like to eat": Parents' experiences of skills-based treatment for childhood obesity.

  • Public Expressions of Trust and Distrust in Governmental Dietary Advice in Sweden

  • Governance by campaign: the co-constitution of food issues, publics and expertise through new information and communication technologies

  • Feeding the extended family: gender, generation, and socioeconomic disadvantage in food provision to children

  • Latin American countries lead in Google search volumes for anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa: Implications for global mental health research.

  • Picky eating in Swedish preschoolers of different weight status: application of two new screening cut-offs.

  • Anthropological Perspectives on Eating Disorders: Deciphering Cultural Logics.

  • Striving for liminality: Eating disorders and social suffering.