El cuerpo cotidiano: itinerarios corporales de mujeres

Translated title of the contribution: The everyday body: women’s body itineraries

María Alejandra Energici, Nicolás Schöngut-Grollmus, Mauricio José Toval Gajardo, Natalia Zúñiga Valenzuela

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This work aims to study women’s body itineraries, through the interviews of women from high and low socioeconomic status (SES) who live in Santiago de Chile. The project inquiries bodies’ itineraries as a set of nutrition, exercise, and aesthetics care actions as everyday practices. This concept allowed reflecting on the body as a continuous becoming, a movement or action, and not a fixed entity. The project had a qualitative research design. Data was collected using reflexive interviews. Participants were asked to describe a typical day using magazine images. Every interview started with the question: “If your body could talk with images, how would it tell its day?”. Four women were interviewed, two of high SES and two of low SES. The data analysis was conducted the reflexive thematic analysis guidelines. The results compared high and low SES bodies itineraries organized by type of practice. Women of high SES describe their nutrition practices in terms of body awareness; how food affects their bodies. Low SES women instead talk about their nutrition from a self-control perspective. These women describe their food intake as something that must be at all times regulated. For them, nutrition becomes a constant failure because they usually lack self-control. Women of high SES describe the exercise as a pleasant activity, it is related to wellbeing. The interviewed women from this group reported exercising regularly. Women of Low SES described their lack of exercising in terms of laziness. Women of low SES report makeup as a daily aesthetic care practice. Women describe that they start applying makeup at their house, continue in the subway or bus on the way to work, and finish at the workplace. Makeup doesn’t have a delimited space or place. Women of high SES describe aesthetic care practices in terms of skincare. They emphasize that good-looking skin and body image reflect a healthy body. A significant difference between low and high SES women is that the first consider aesthetic care practices as superficial, while for the latter is an inner state that reflects exteriorly. In general terms, women of high SES refer to body itineraries in terms of awareness. Women regularly refer to how the practices of nutrition, exercise, and aesthetic care affect their bodies. Women of low SES instead describe their body itineraries as control practices that regularly fail. They don’t report body sensations. The analysis shows that the description of nutrition, exercise, and aesthetic care have moral (good/bad) and affective dimensions (how a body shall be affected in these practices). Being a caregiver emerged as a relevant issue when accounting for body itineraries. Two of the four women we interviewed were mothers, one from each SES. Caregiving was significant in nutrition and exercise practices. Women with children tend to eat when and what their children are eating. Eating tends to be a practice distributed in the routine. For example, a woman had a sandwich with her son before school and then a coffee after dropping him at school. Likewise, exercise is in function to the children’s routine. For example, a woman walks fast from the school to her house. Being a caregiver structures time and, as an effect, it is very significant in body itineraries. Finally, in the discussion the analysis was compared with other data. The different practices of women of high and low SES derive into different outcomes. Women of low SES are more obese and sedentary than women from high SES.

Translated title of the contributionThe everyday body: women’s body itineraries
Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)135-149
Number of pages15
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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