Konsumeristskie body

Chapters from the book "Human being. Western culture, health and body control"2000.

Dmitry V. Michael — Doctor of Philosophy, Professor of "sociology, social anthropology and social work" SGTU

A special role in modern Western culture is now playing practice self-control, aimed at maintaining the health and care of your own body. Being healthy — it's imperative, which is now followed voluntarily. The formation of modern culture that denies death, causes a huge number of people are pay more attention to your body and being. Following Michael Fiterstounom we call a culture konsumeristskoy. Consumerism — is the result of the Age of line production, the medicalization of triumph, as well as the fact that Robert Keith called "marketing revolution"1. The main symptom is a non-stop consumerism consumption, the logic of which opened Baudrillard2. Following his ideas, however, we must say that the place of application of consumerism, is nothing else than the body. Streams of all that is produced — goods, services, information — attack the body from all sides, trying to be consumed. As well said Zygmunt Bauman, "the body is under siege"3

At the same time we can say that the culture of consumerism acts of this kind, which tends to saturate the body Life. In former times the culture transformed into the surface of the body, which recorded the most different types of values. Emphasis was placed on race, age, gender differences, through which embodied personality took its place in the social hierarchy. In addition, Western culture focused attention on the degree of pathological bodies, especially in the XIX-XX centuries, when the liberal-bourgeois society proclaimed equality between people. Consumerism for these differences no longer play a role as a base for building new hierarchies is the ability to consume. At the same life that is now converted into a perfect product that is most willing to consume. The difference between people is more and more evident in the degree of investment in the life of their bodies. However, in the limit, it is a matter of removing all differences.

Konsumeristskaya culture thus produces a new type of physicality that is released from the traditional differences in gender, age, race, physical strength, but also on the well-known, beginning with the birth of clinical medicine, the differences in the degree of pathological (lethality), which played a key role in construction of social hierarchies era of liberalism. Kosumeristskoe body becomes the body, lived out in all the previously existing differences, but, above all, death as the source of these differences. It is committed to becoming a body without a disability, the body, which would have been done away with excess weight and excess years (old age). In a sense, it tends to becoming the embodiment of the divine perfection.

In this section of the paper we are going to discuss three theses.

  1. An ideal example is konsumeristskogo body mass media image of physicality that amassed a main idea of what should be embodied to the age of high technology and efficient health monitoring. In the anthropological sense, this type of physicality appears as a phantom Immortal Man.
  2. One of the possible manifestations of physicality acts konsumeristskoy body weight is being monitored. In particular, it is a case of anorexia nervosa, which is seen not as a medical pathology, as well as an example of a general trend worries about the shape and weight of the body.
  3. Another manifestation of the body can be konsumeristskogo ageless body, or, equivalently, the body becomes obsolete in their old age. For konsumeristskoy culture age — is unacceptable death certificate, so it is subject to segregation, but not on a social level and at the individual level


  1. Keith R. The Marketing Revolution / / Marketing Classics. A Selection of Influential Articles / Ed. BM Enis and KK Cox. Boston et. al.: Allyn and Bacon Inc., 1985. P. 38-42
  2. Jean Baudrillard system of things. M., 1995. S. 168.
  3. Bauman Z. Life in Fragments: Essays in Postmodern Morality. Oxford and Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell, 1995. P. 120.


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