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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In an argument which is highly connected to Emile Durkheim's analysis of the
sacred profane dichotomy in The Elementary Forms of Religious Life (1961) Pasi
Falk draws an historical contrast between the ritual meal of primitive society and ...
In Pasi Falk's hands, this Gemeinschaft/Gescllschaft distinction is transformed
into a theory of the body/self/society such that the communal bonds of the ritual
meal are eventually replaced by the privatized forms of consumption in modern ...
Food to words Now let us now turn to the modern meal and to the specific mode
in which the two dimensions of orality — eating and speaking — are structured
within it. A modern family meal — even if it too is becoming marginalized (Thurn,
Notwithstanding the ahistorical bias, Simmel's essay on the meal is, however, an
adequate analysis of the character of the modern meal, rendering primacy to the
sublimating (aestheticizing) forms and the sublimated mode of interaction as ...
historical fate of the meal may be given 'a more sublime characterization: the
sociability constituted in the autonomous realm of words returns to the 'original' in
a reflective mode which (almost) literally turns food into words — as a
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Chapter 7 Pornography and the Representation of Presence