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Related: academic - aestheticization - consumerism - everyday life - postmodernism - theory
ProfileMike Featherstone is Director of the Theory, Culture & Society Centre. He is founding editor of Theory, Culture & Society and the TCS Book Series. He is co-editor of the journal Body & Society. He is author of Consumer Culture and Postmodernism (1991) and Undoing Culture (1995). His edited and co-edited books include: Global Culture (1990), The Body (1991), Global Modernities (1995), Cyberspace / Cyberbodies / Cyberpunk (1995), Images of Ageing (1995), Simmel on Culture (1997) Love and Eroticism (1999) and Spaces of Culture (1999), Body Modification (2000), Recognition and Difference (2002). His books and articles have been translated into over a dozen languages. He is currently working on: a project on Global Knowledge with other TCS editors and a group in Japan; developing the European Consortium of Humanities Centres and Institutes network. --http://www.ntu.ac.uk/research/schoolofartscommunicationsandculture/academic%20profiles/7010.html [Dec 2005]
Consumer Culture & Postmodernism (1991) - Mike Featherstone
Featherstone's book focuses on two central issues within the postmodernity debate. In the first place Featherstone discusses the question of whether there can be a 'postmodern sociology' or alternatively a 'sociology of postmodernism'. He suggests that the latter is the more fitting approach given that the notion of a 'postmodern sociology' would presume that a radical break had taken place from a 'modernist sociology' . Featherstone denies that such a radical discontinuity exists between the 'modern' and the 'postmodern'. Rather there are important elements and themes of continuity which, says Featherstone need further exploration.
Featherstone argues that a 'sociology of postmodernism' needs to address at least three areas of study:
1. The changes which have occurred in the artistic and intellectual arenas of society.
2. The changes which have occurred in the production, circulation and dissemination of symbolic goods.
3. changes occurring in the everyday practices of social groups/classes which point to the new ways these groups signify their statuses and positions in society.
Featherstone argues that a social process of the 'aestheticization of everyday life' is in train in the 'west'. This process involves:
1. The growth and development of 'artistic subcultures' which seek to break down the barriers between Art (in the traditionally understood sense) and 'everyday life'. Featherstone cites examples of Dadaism and Surrealism from the 1920s and 1930s. We might also add the movements of, Pop Art and Conceptualism evident from the 1960s onwards.
2. Turning 'everyday life' into a work of art. Here Featherstone supplies the example of The Bloomsbury Group as well as others (e.g. Baudelaire) who took the position that the greatest 'goods' in life were those of personal emotions, affectations and aesthetic enjoyment.
3. The rapid flow of signs and images which saturate the fabric of 'everyday life'. Featherstone argues that the Marxist concept of modern capitalism as founded on 'the fetishism of commodities' is instructive here as into the 21st century we are seemingly dominated by a 'consumer culture'.
Many of the themes and paths opened in 'Consumer Culture & Postmodernism' are developed by Featherstone in a number of subsequent publications including:
(1995) Undoing Culture (Sage)
(co-editor)(1995) Global Modernities (Sage)
(co-editor)(1999) Spaces of Culture (Sage) --http://www.sociologyonline.co.uk/post_essays/PopFeatherstone.htm [Aug 2004]
Body Modification (2000) - Mike Featherstone
Body Modification (2000) - Mike Featherstone [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
In an age where anti-flesh puritanism seems to be waning, and yet still persists in subtle manifestations, more and more extreme stimuli both physical and conceptual - may be necessary to re-establish our relationship with our bodies. The vicious and relentless suppression of bodily awareness that is our inheritance from Pauline Christianity will not just fade away if we ask nicely. It seems that the growing popularity in the West of body modification practices, and physical forms of S/M sexuality, is indicative of the what may be necessary to reclaim our flesh and provoke ourselves into a deeper body-consciousness. And, as we shall see, our cultural myths, the imagery and conceptions that our artists generate, may also have become equally extreme in their treatment of the flesh, of necessity. -- Gyrus via http://www.uncarved.org/2012/psycho.html [Dec 2005]
See also: body -
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