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 other words, the constitution of the subject takes the form of an individual self
— especially characteristic of modern society — articulating the inside/outside
distinction primarily at the boundaries of the individual self, and thus the body ...
The sense of taste is surely there, but the 'judgement' is located primarily at the
boundaries of the culture, in the 'mouth' of the community, as it were. Only when
these boundaries grow weaker, is the judgement of taste transposed into the
Nevertheless, my argument is - as already noted above — that the interactive link
which relates the subject to its environment, binding subjects to each other as a
community, is primarily structured on the oral— ingestive dimension.
On the other hand, the integrative function of a modern meal resides primarily in
the other oral dimension, that of speech and communication (in distinction to
communion), aptly exemplified by a 'dining out' situation in which every individual
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Chapter 7 Pornography and the Representation of Presence