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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28, No. 2, 1985: 115—36 with the title 'Corporeality and Its Fates in History'.
Reprinted with the permission of Scandinavian University Press. Chapter 4 (
Towards an Historical Anthropology of Taste) was originally published in Social
The work of Foucault on the historical construction of sexuality has once more
played a major role in this area. Foucault's work was initially directed towards the
various institutions, practices and techniques by which the body is disciplined,
historical shaping of the difference between men and women, gender differences
continue to play a major role in the representation of power and authority in
contemporary industrial societies. For example, Emily Martin (1987) in her The ...
The brilliance of Falk's approach to this question is to cast it in a distinctively
historical context, that is we do not have to decide on an essentialist definition of
the social actor but rather we are obliged to explore the historical setting of the ...
Then again, my focus on the body in the present context is not one of reducing it
to a biological organism, rather, my aim is to detect its historically changing
position in various cultural categorizations and its various manifestations as an
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Chapter 7 Pornography and the Representation of Presence