Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

The Body Beautiful: Symbolism and Agency in the Social World

Erica Reischer and Kathryn S. Koo
Annual Review of Anthropology
Vol. 33 (2004), pp. 297-317
Published by: Annual Reviews
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25064855
Page Count: 21
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Download ($36.00)
  • Cite this Item
If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
The Body Beautiful: Symbolism and Agency in the Social World
Preview not available

Abstract

The prominence of the body in popular culture has prompted intense academic interest in recent decades. Seeking to overturn a naturalistic approach to the body as a biological given, this broad literature redefines the body as a sociocultural and historical phenomenon. Within anthropology, two primary theoretical orientations toward the body have emerged: the body as "symbol" and the body as "agent." This review article provides an overview of these dominant theoretical approaches in the context of recent scholarship on body ideals and, in particular, the body beautiful. The review explores also the body beautiful as a primary site for the construction and performance of gender, and specifically of femininity, with examples drawn from the abundant literature on women's bodies.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
297
    297
  • Thumbnail: Page 
298
    298
  • Thumbnail: Page 
299
    299
  • Thumbnail: Page 
300
    300
  • Thumbnail: Page 
301
    301
  • Thumbnail: Page 
302
    302
  • Thumbnail: Page 
303
    303
  • Thumbnail: Page 
304
    304
  • Thumbnail: Page 
305
    305
  • Thumbnail: Page 
306
    306
  • Thumbnail: Page 
307
    307
  • Thumbnail: Page 
308
    308
  • Thumbnail: Page 
309
    309
  • Thumbnail: Page 
310
    310
  • Thumbnail: Page 
311
    311
  • Thumbnail: Page 
312
    312
  • Thumbnail: Page 
313
    313
  • Thumbnail: Page 
314
    314
  • Thumbnail: Page 
315
    315
  • Thumbnail: Page 
316
    316
  • Thumbnail: Page 
317
    317