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.
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.
This book casts a critical look at the dominant position that fashion has come to occupy in contemporary society. It addresses various aspects of fashion in postmodern culture including makeup, cosmetic surgery, tattoos, ornament in dress and the blurring of gender boundaries.
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: 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.
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.
'Identity' and 'selfhood' are terms routinely used throughout the human sciences that seek to analyze and describe the character of everyday life and experience. Yet these terms are seldom defined or used with any precision, and scant regard is paid to the historical and cultural context in which they arose, or to which they are applied. This innovative book provides fresh historical insights in terms of the emergence, development, and interrelationship of specific and varied notions of identity and selfhood, and outlines a new sociological framework for analyzing it. This is the first historical/sociological framework for discussion of issues which have until now, generally been treated as 'philosophy' or 'psychology', and as such it is essential reading for those undergraduates and postgraduates of sociology, philosophy and history and cultural studies interested in the concepts of identity and self. It covers a broader range of material than is usual in this style of text, and includes a survey of relevant literature and precise analysis of key concepts written in a student-friendly style.
Author: Katariina Kyrölä
Release Date: 2016-02-17
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.
Author: Andrew J. Cooper
Release Date: 2013-04-12
Genre: Social Science
As the world changes, so sexual identities are changing. In a context of globalisation, mass communication and technological advances, individuals find themselves able to make lifestyle choices in new and different ways. In this increasingly confusing world, sociologists have argued that identities are in flux, and that traditional patterns of identity and intimacy are being disrupted and reshaped, with all the implications for sexual identities that this suggests. Changing Gay Male Identities draws on the powerful life stories of twenty-one gay men to explore how individuals construct and maintain their sense of self in contemporary society. The book draws upon theoretical debates on topics such as gender, performance, sex, class, camp, race and ethnicity, to explore four aspects of identity: the role of the body in who we are relationships and communities performing in everyday life reconciling different aspects of our selves (such as religion and sexuality). In Changing Gay Male Identities Andrew Cooper assesses the magnitude of these social and sexual changes. He argues that although there are many opportunities for new forms of identity in a changing world, the possibilities can be significantly constrained, and that this has major implications for the freedoms and choices of individuals in contemporary societies. This book will be of interest to students and scholars of sociology, sexuality studies, gender studies, and GLBTQ studies.
Using work produced from the critical and postmodern arena in social sciences, this book examines three key areas - representation, identities and practice - to explore and interrogate how body and weight management, subjectivities, experiences and practices are constituted within and by the normative discourses of contemporary western culture.
Author: Guy Debord
Publisher: Bread and Circuses Publishing
Release Date: 2012-10-01
Genre: Political Science
The Das Kapital of the 20th century,Society of the Spectacle is an essential text, and the main theoretical work of the Situationists. Few works of political and cultural theory have been as enduringly provocative. From its publication amid the social upheavals of the 1960's, in particular the May 1968 uprisings in France, up to the present day, with global capitalism seemingly staggering around in it’s Zombie end-phase, the volatile theses of this book have decisively transformed debates on the shape of modernity, capitalism, and everyday life in the late 20th century. This ‘Red and Black’ translation from 1977 is Introduced by Notting Hill armchair insurrectionary Tom Vague with a galloping time line and pop-situ verve, and given a more analytical over view by young upstart thinker Sam Cooper.
Author: Eve Shapiro
Release Date: 2015-01-09
Genre: Social Science
The new edition of Gender Circuits explores the impact of new technologies on the gendered lives of individuals through substantive sociological analysis and in-depth case studies. Examining the complex intersections between gender ideologies, social scripts, information and biomedical technologies, and embodied identities, this book explores whether and how new technologies are reshaping what it means to be a gendered person in contemporary society.
Author: Gary Browning
Release Date: 2000-02-11
Genre: Social Science
Understanding Contemporary Society: Theories of the Present is a comprehensive textbook to guide students through the complexities of social theory today. Over 30 chapters, written by an international team of contributors, demonstrate clearly the practical applications of social theory in making sense of the modern world. Students are both introduced to the most significant theories and guided through the major social developments which shape our lives. Key features of the book are: clearly structured and readable prose; bullet pointed summaries and annotated further reading for each topic; makes complex issues accessible to undergraduates; focuses on relevance and practicality; chapter lay-out which is ideal for t
Author: Paul Manning
Release Date: 2013-01-11
Genre: Social Science
The use of illegal drugs is so common that a number of commentators now refer to the 'normalisation' of drug consumption. It is surprising, then, that to date very little academic work has explored drug use as part of contemporary popular culture. This collection of readings will apply an innovatory, multi-disciplinary approach to this theme, combining some of the most recent research on 'the normalisation thesis' with fresh work on the relationship between drug use and popular culture. In drawing upon criminological, sociological and cultural studies approaches, this book will make an important contribution to the newly emerging field positioned at the intersection of these disciplines. The particular focus of the book is upon drug consumption as popular culture. It aims to provide an accessible collection of chapters and readings that will explore drug use in popular culture in a way that is relevant to undergraduates and postgraduates studying a variety of courses, including criminology, sociology, media studies, health care and social work.