Download In the Flesh: The Cultural Politics of Body Modification by Victoria Pitts PDF

By Victoria Pitts

Via an interview-based learn, Victoria Pitts has researched the subcultural milieu of up to date physique amendment, targeting the methods sexuality, gender and ethnicity are being reconfigured via new physique applied sciences - not just tattooing, yet piercing, cyberpunk and such 'neotribal' practices as scarification. She translates the tales of 16 physique modifiers (as good as a few subcultural magazines and flicks) utilizing the instruments of feminist and queer conception. Pitts not just covers a sizzling subject but in addition situates it in a theoretical context.

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Extra info for In the Flesh: The Cultural Politics of Body Modification

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Sweetman points out that the new body marks make the body bleed, scar, and heal and create a need for self-attention. He describes how tattooees and piercees enjoy how such self-care lends them a heightened sense of reflexivity. They gain, he suggests, a sense of accomplishment by enduring pain and healing 32 IN THE FLESH the body. ”27 In this body–self relationship, body marking is used to create a “coherent and viable sense of self-identity through attention to the body . . ” 28 Margo DeMello argues in Bodies of Inscription that such notions of individual self-awareness informing new body art projects (especially tattoos) are middle-class ideas that originated in the self-help and pop psychology movements of the 1960s and 1970s.

Rather than viewing the “natural” body as inherently pristine and unmarked, or primarily as a site for the expression of personal, individual identity, they have described the body as a primary site where social relations operate. Poststructuralists and feminists have insisted that the social history of the body in the West has been marked by its policing and moral regulation. Moreover, they have explored how the body is linked to ideologies of power, especially the social hierarchies of race, gender, and sexuality.

In post-essentialist perspectives, any notion of an essential character to the body or the subject is replaced by a sense that both are culturally shaped and socially ordered. 10 Ann Cahill describes how the dichotomy between mind and body was essential to the Enlightenment interest in promoting a notion of the rational subject: Reason promised a host of good that the body could not hope to provide. Bodies lived, grew old, withered; reason worked according to universal laws of logic and produced timeless truths.

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