The Consuming Body
This is a fascinating examination of the relationship between consumption, the idea of the body and the formation of the self. In tracing these connections, The Consuming Body develops a profile of individuality in the late twentieth century - in both its bodily and mental aspects.
Pasi Falk offers a major synthesis and critical assessment of the debates surrounding the body, the self and contemporary consumer culture. He explores two fundamental issues for modern social theory - the delineation of modern consumption and the body's historically changing position in various cultural orders. In the course of his argument he examines both metaphors of consumption and investigates the issues of representation in advertising and pornography.
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While sociologists have typically grounded social solidarity in the idea of shared
values, there may be a more primitive notion of community, that is an eating
community. Here again the mouth is a particularly interesting feature of the
The mouth is the central character in the story outlining the corporeality of (
modern) consumption - as I shall try to explicate in the following — not only due
to its role as the primal organ of consumption (eating) but also due to its
Undoubtedly, orality figures in the primitive society not only as eating (the oral—
ingestive dimension) but also as speech (the oral—aural dimension).
Nevertheless, my argument is - as already noted above — that the interactive link
Then again, the problem of control is manifested in its most articulate manner
precisely in the materiality of eating due to the predominance of the principles of '
humoral medicine' which emphasize the role of the body and its fluids in the ...
There is a lot of non-ritual eating in tribal societies, especially among the gatherer
-hunters (MacClancy, 1992: 12—13, 49—50). Furthermore, all cultures have their
own range of pleasurable 'stimulants' and actually most modern Western ones ...
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Chapter 7 Pornography and the Representation of Presence