Popular interest in body image issues has grown dramatically in recent years, due to an emphasis on individual responsibility and self-determination in contemporary society as well as the seemingly limitless capacities of modern medicine; however body image as a separate field of academic inquiry is still relatively young. The contributors of Body Image and Identity in Contemporary Societies explore the complex social, political and aesthetic interconnections between body image and identity. It is an in-depth study that allows for new perspectives in the analysis of contemporary visual art and literature but also reflects on how these social constructs inform clinical treatment. Sukhanova and Thomashoff bring together contributions from psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, psychiatrists and scholars in the fields of the social sciences and the humanities to explore representations of the body in literature and the arts across different times and cultures. The chapters analyse the social construction of the 'ideal' body in terms of beauty, gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class and disability, from a broadly psychoanalytic perspective, and traces the mechanisms which define the role of the physical appearance in the formation of identity and the assumption of social roles. Body Image and Identity in Contemporary Societies' unique interdisciplinary outlook aims to bridge the current gap between clinical observations and research in semiotic theory. It will be of interest to psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, art therapists, art theorists, academics in the humanities and social sciences, and those interested in an interdisciplinary approach to the issues of body image and identity. Ekaterina Sukhanova is University Director of Academic Program Review at the City University of New York USA. She serves as Scientific Secretary of the Section for Art and Psychiatry and the Section of Art and Psychiatry of the World Psychiatric Association. She is also engaged in interdisciplinary research on cultural constructs of mental health and illness and curates exhibits of art brut as a vehicle for fighting stigma. Hans-Otto Thomashoff was born in Germany and lives in Vienna. He is a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, art historian and author of fiction and non-fiction books. He has been curator of several art exhibitions highlighting the connection between the psyche and art as well as president of the section of Art and Psychiatry of the World Psychiatric Association and advisory committee member of the Sigmund Freud Foundation, Vienna.
It is well known that body image has been associated to health risks related to eating habits. However, to what extent do identity categories, everyday social interaction and common discourses affect our preoccupations and sufferings related to body image in contemporary society, and our coordinated ways of confronting them? In Body Image as an Everyday Problematic, Diaz seeks to offer a comprehensive perspective on body image as an everyday problematic, grounded on verbal accounts of biographic experience. The main body of the book unfolds through five analyses: (1) a framework for how persons are categorized on the grounds of their beauty, weight, or physical appeal; with reference to heterosexual and friendship relations; (2) how men position themselves with respect to culturally provided images of beautiful women in relation to their heterosexual partners; (3) biographic processes through which people locate problems with the body, confront them and interpret them after some time; (4) the role of mothers in providing help across different kinds of problems; and (5) the experiences and contradictions of caring for relatives or partners who suffer for their body image. Indeed, these five analytical threads together compose a structured and rich understanding of the meaningful social order that lies at the core of our everyday preoccupations with the body. Challenging conventional psychological theories of body image, this enlightening volume will appeal to postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers interested in fields such as Gender Studies, Clinical Psychology and Sociology.
Advertising, materialism and consumption are central aspects of contemporary Western culture. We are bombarded with idealised images of the perfect body, desirable consumer goods, and affluent lifestyles, yet psychology is only just beginning to take account of the profound influence these consumer culture ideals have on individuals’ sense of identity and worth. Consumer Culture, Identity, and Well-Being documents the negative psychological impact consumer culture can have on how individuals view themselves and on their emotional welfare. It looks at the social psychological dimensions of having, buying and wanting material goods, as well as the pursuit of media-hyped appearance ideals. In particular, it focuses on: the purchasing of material goods as a means of expressing and seeking identity, and the negative consequences of this psychological buying motivations in conventional buying environments and on the Internet the unrealistic socio-cultural beauty ideals embodied by idealized models. Throughout, different approaches from social psychology are integrated, such as self-completion, self-discrepancy and value theory, to create a comprehensive theoretical framework for understanding the impact of internalising core consumer culture ideals on how individuals see themselves and the implications this has for their psychological and physical health. This book is of interest to anybody who wants to find out more about the psychological effects of living in modern consumer societies on children, adolescents, and adults. More specifically, it will be of interest to students and researchers in social psychology, sociology, media studies, communication and other social sciences, as well as to psychologists, health workers, and practitioners interested in the topics of identity, consumption pathologies, body image, and body-related behaviours.
Author: Kate C. McLean
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Release Date: 2014-12-01
Identity is defined in many different ways in various disciplines in the social sciences and sub-disciplines within psychology. The developmental psychological approach to identity is characterized by a focus on developing a sense of the self that is temporally continuous and unified across the different life spaces that individuals inhabit. Erikson proposed that the task of adolescence and young adulthood was to define the self by answering the question: Who Am I? There have been many advances in theory and research on identity development since Erikson's writing over fifty years ago, and the time has come to consolidate our knowledge and set an agenda for future research. The Oxford Handbook of Identity Development represents a turning point in the field of identity development research. Various, and disparate, groups of researchers are brought together to debate, extend, and apply Erikson's theory to contemporary problems and empirical issues. The result is a comprehensive and state-of-the-art examination of identity development that pushes the field in provocative new directions. Scholars of identity development, adolescent and adult development, and related fields, as well as graduate students, advanced undergraduates, and practitioners will find this to be an innovative, unique, and exciting look at identity development.
Author: Ana Marta GonzÃ¡lez
Release Date: 2013-08-15
Fashion has become a fertile field of study for academics across disciplines, now that the rules, once tightly fixed, have been deconstructed. This volume brings together academics from various disciplines - philosophy, sociology, medicine, anthropology, psychology and psychiatry - to examine fashion's complex relationship with post-industrial societies. Herein the authors address, from the standpoint of their respective disciplines, what crucial functions fashion fulfils in the modern world, especially as it relates to the construction and deconstruction of the self. This volume is the result of a conference held by the Social Trends Institute at which the authors presented original papers. The Social Trends Institute is a non-profit research centre that offers institutional and financial support to academics in all fields who research and explore emerging social trends and their effects on human communities. The Institute focuses its research on four main subject areas: family, bioethics, culture and lifestyles, and corporate governance.
Author: Anthony Giddens
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Release Date: 2013-04-30
Genre: Social Science
This major study develops a new account of modernity and its relation to the self. Building upon the ideas set out in The Consequences of Modernity, Giddens argues that 'high' or 'late' modernity is a post traditional order characterised by a developed institutional reflexivity. In the current period, the globalising tendencies of modern institutions are accompanied by a transformation of day-to-day social life having profound implications for personal activities. The self becomes a 'reflexive project', sustained through a revisable narrative of self identity. The reflexive project of the self, the author seeks to show, is a form of control or mastery which parallels the overall orientation of modern institutions towards 'colonising the future'. Yet it also helps promote tendencies which place that orientation radically in question - and which provide the substance of a new political agenda for late modernity. In this book Giddens concerns himself with themes he has often been accused of unduly neglecting, including especially the psychology of self and self-identity. The volumes are a decisive step in the development of his thinking, and will be essential reading for students and professionals in the areas of social and political theory, sociology, human geography and social psychology.
Author: Dr Katariina Kyrölä
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
Release Date: 2014-03-28
Genre: Social Science
The Weight of Images explores the ways in which media images can train their viewers’ bodies. Proposing a shift away from an understanding of spectatorship as being constituted by acts of the mind, this book favours a theorization of relations between bodies and images as visceral, affective engagements that shape our body image - with close attention to one particularly charged bodily characteristic in contemporary western culture: fat. The first mapping of the ways in which fat, gendered bodies are represented across a variety of media forms and genres, from reality television to Hollywood movies, from TV sitcoms to documentaries, from print magazine and news media to online pornography, The Weight of Images contends that media images of fat bodies are never only about fat; rather, they are about our relation to corporeal vulnerability overall. A ground-breaking volume, engaging with a rich variety of media and cultural texts, whilst examining the possibilities of critical auto-ethnography to unravel how body images take shape affectively between bodies and images, this book will appeal to scholars and students of sociology, media, cultural and gender studies, with interests in embodiment and affect.
This is a book about embodiment and identity in the context of particular women’s lives in an urban setting. It is concerned with the development of a sociology of embodiment in the context of women’s lives in contemporary, urban India. The focus on embodiment is mediated by gender and class, two critical elements that constitute identity in relation to embodiment. The study is based on material collected from interviews with working class women in an urban slum and with professional, upper class women, with young women in secondary schools and from material from a women’s magazine.
Author: Chris Shilling
Release Date: 2012-08-16
Genre: Social Science
"Great to have a new edition - this is essential reading and provides a clear, accessible yet original overview of social theory and the body." - Sarah Nettleton, University of York "Lucidly argued and accessibly written, this book avoids the pitfalls of either too much naturalism or too much social constructivism. It is a book with something for everyone, from the classics in social theory on the body to contemporary bodily phenomena like genetics, body modification, and cultural anxieties about death." - Kathy Davis, Utrecht University Unrivalled in its clarity and coverage, this sparkling new edition of Chris Shilling's classic text is a masterful account of the emergence and development of body matters in sociology and related disciplines. A timely, well reasoned response to current concerns and controversies across the globe, it provides chapter-by-chapter coverage of the major theories, approaches and studies conducted in the field. Each chapter has been revised and updated, with new discussions of 'actor-network theory', bodywork, pragmatism, the global resurgence of religious identities, 'new genetics', biological citizenship, neuroscience, and figurations of the living and dead. Packed full of critical analysis and relevant empirical studies the book engages with the major classical and contemporary theories within body studies including the: naturalistic, interactionist, constructionist, feminist, structuralist, phenomenological, and realist. Original, logical and indispensable this is a must-have title for students and researchers engaged with the study of the body.
The body and experiences of embodiment have generated a rich and diverse sociological literature. This volume articulates and illustrates one major approach to the sociology of the body: symbolic interactionism, an increasingly prevalent theoretical base of contemporary sociology derived from the pragmatism of writers such as John Dewey, William James, Charles Peirce, Charles Cooley and George Herbert Mead. The authors argue that, from an interactionist perspective, the body is much more than a tangible, corporeal object - it is a vessel of great significance to the individual and society. From this perspective, body, self and social interaction are intimately interrelated and constantly reconfigured. The collection constitutes a unique anthology of empirical research on the body, from health and illness to sexuality, from beauty and imagery to bodily performance in sport and art, and from mediated communication to plastic surgery. The contributions are informed by innovative interactionist theory, offering fresh insights into one of the fastest growing sub-disciplines of sociology and cultural studies.
Author: Anne Fausto-Sterling
Publisher: Basic Books
Release Date: 2008-08-04
Genre: Social Science
Why do some people prefer heterosexual love while others fancy the same sex? Is sexual identity biologically determined or a product of convention? In this brilliant and provocative book, the acclaimed author of Myths of Gender argues that even the most fundamental knowledge about sex is shaped by the culture in which scientific knowledge is produced.Drawing on astonishing real-life cases and a probing analysis of centuries of scientific research, Fausto-Sterling demonstrates how scientists have historically politicized the body. In lively and impassioned prose, she breaks down three key dualisms - sex/gender, nature/nurture, and real/constructed - and asserts that individuals born as mixtures of male and female exist as one of five natural human variants and, as such, should not be forced to compromise their differences to fit a flawed societal definition of normality.
Throughout the world, the population of older adults continues to grow. The rise in geriatric populations has seen an increase in research on clinical diagnostic, assessment, and treatment issues aimed at this population. Clinical geropsychologists have increased their interest both in providing mental health services as well as developing approaches to improve quality of life for all older adults. The Oxford Handbook of Clinical Geropsychology is a landmark publication in this field, providing broad and authoritative coverage of the research and practice issues in clinical geropsychology today, as well as innovations expanding the field's horizons. Comprising chapters from the foremost scholars in clinical geropsychology from around the world, the handbook captures the global proliferation of activity in this field. In addition to core sections on topics such as sources of psychological distress, assessment, diagnosis, and intervention, the handbook includes valuable chapters devoted to methodological issues such as longitudinal studies and meta-analyses in the field, as well as new and emerging issues such as technological innovations and social media use in older populations. Each chapter offers a review of the most pertinent international literature, outlining current issues as well as important cultural implications and key practice issues where relevant, and identifying possibilities for future research and policy applications. The book is essential to all psychology researchers, practitioners, educators, and students with an interest in the mental health of older adults. In addition, health professionals - including psychiatrists, social workers, mental health nurses, and trainee geriatric mental heatlh workers - will find this a invaluable resource. Older adults comprise a growing percentage of the population worldwide. Clinical psychologists with an interest in older populations have increased the amount of research and applied knowledge about effectively improving mental health later in life, and this book captures that information on an international level. The book addresses how to diagnose, assess and treat mental illness in older persons, as well as ways to improve quality of life in all older persons. It has a great breadth of coverage of the area, including chapters spanning how research is conducted to how new technologies such as virtual reality and social media are used with older people to improve mental health. The book would appeal to all psychology researchers, practitioners, educators and students with an interest in the mental health of older adults. It would also appeal to other health professionals, including psychiatrists, social workers, and mental health nurses who work with older people. It is a valuable resource for trainee geriatric mental health workers because it highlights key readings and important practice implications in the field.