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The Consuming Body

The Consuming Body

September 1994 | 256 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
In a much-needed examination of the relationships among consumption, the idea of the body, and the formation of the self, The Consuming Body develops a profile of modern individuality--in both its bodily and mental aspects--and its relationship to consumption. Pasi Falk offers a major synthesis and critical assessment of the debates around the body, the self, and contemporary consumer culture. The author explores two fundamental issues for modern social theory--the delineation of modern consumption, and the body's historically changing position in various cultural orders. En route, he interrogates metaphors of consumption, examines anthropologies of taste and modern consumption, and investigates the issues of representation in advertising and pornography. Throughout the volume, the author is concerned with the contingent nature of definitions of the body as well as with the culturally and historically specific notions of the self and its boundaries; following this focus, he posits a new theory of the consuming body more relevant to our embodied human condition.

Bryan S Turner
Body, Self and Culture
Corporeality and History
Towards an Historical Anthropology of Taste
Consuming Desire
Selling Good(s)
On the Genealogy of Modern Advertising

Pornography and the Representation of Presence

`I consider this book a remarkable achievement. Sophisticated in its use of sociological, anthropological and critical theory, The Consuming Body also successfully conveys the direct tangible experience of corporality and the senses. Its key metaphor of orality unites body history and consumer history, speech and sustenance, with rare penetration and clarity. Pasi Falk's original and insightful book sets the study of the body onto a new plane'- Roy Porter, The Wellcome Institute, London

`Although the sociology of the body is a major issue in contemporary social science, we do not as yet possess a comprehensive theory. Pasi Falk's remarkable analysis of consumption and the body goes a long way to providing such a comprehensive and synoptic overview of the problems of the body as a topic of research. Through a sustained analysis of the mouth and consumption he provides an extraordinarily provocative and compelling analysis of corporality and culture. This is not a text to be easily consumed, but it will play a formative role in restructuring contemporary debate about the body, culture and society. In particular it will be no longer possible to ignore the nature of human embodiment in debates about need and consumption. A profound tour de force of contemporary sociological theory, it will undoubtedly become a central text in the analysis of the sensory body' - Bryan S Turner

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