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.