By Marvice D. Marcus, PhD

Published in Gurze Eating Disorders Resource Catalouge January 27, 2020

Identity and Representation
Sociodemographic factors heavily influence our experience of the world. Physical and mental health outcomes are two of the domains in which identity yields fascinating and sometimes harrowing information about individual lives. Arguably one of the most powerful social determinants of life chance is race, an otherwise troublesome organizing principle buttressed by colonial thought. Understood as specious in nature, race as a construct is far-reaching and governs material and immaterial realities. For example, blackness is a sociopolitical construction that engenders a great deal of contested meaning in the public imagination. Historically, the ascription of blackness has translated to (in)visibility and erasure (Gibson, 2010; Westmoreland, 2017), ethnoviolence (Helms, Nicolas, & Green, 2012), pernicious commodification (Leonard, 2006; Lozenski & Chinang, 2019), and general social death (Hartman, 1997; Sexton, 2011). Contextually, research suggests that race, among many identity variables, profoundly dictates unmet mental health needs for Black people (Alang, 2019), with eating disorders treatment being an ongoing topic of discussion in clinical science and education literature (Rodgers, Berry, & Franko, 2018).


About the author:

Dr. Marcus is a Staff Psychologist and Assistant Director of Training Programs at Duke University Counseling and Psychological Services. He earned a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Washington State University and completed a predoctoral internship at Duke University. Dr. Marcus has primarily worked in university mental health, spanning three regions of the United States. Additionally, Dr. Marcus maintains a small private practice in his free time, working towards becoming a Certified Eating Disorders Specialist (CEDS), and focusing on a wide variety of presenting concerns. 

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