The purpose of this study, in part, is to collaboratively explore the meaning making and developmental processes of self and system for a group of women who identify as fat. Using an action research methodology, the group—comprised of women who identify as fat including the researcher—will engage in systematic collaborative and critical self-inquiry with the goal of better understanding who we are individually and collectively. Further, by participating in the aforementioned process, we will also study the ways in which the group dynamic develops using relational cultural theory, which offers that through presence and mutual empathy we can replace shame and isolation with validation and connection. Finally, this continuous, concurrent development of self and system will then be used to understand implications for increasing the capacity for practicing leadership for women who identify as fat.
This proposal for research sets an intention to better understand the processes of how vulnerable, shame-riddled populations connect, influence and empower one another, and create change. Insight on empowering vulnerable populations has profound implications in the field of leadership, as it offers systems a way to fully engage all parts of itself versus relying on unsustainable models which privilege some groups and oppress others.
Finally, check out my YouTube video to hear me say a few words about my hope for the project. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me and forward a link to any women in the San Diego area who may be interested in joining.