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Dubious equalities and embodied differences - Kathy Davis

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Dubious equalities and embodied differences - cultural studies on cosmetic surgery
Kathy Davis
Paperback / softback
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
UK Publication Date

Dubious Equalities and Embodied Differences explores cosmetic surgery as a cultural phenomenon of late modernity. From its onset as a medical specialty at the end of the nineteenth century, cosmetic surgery has been intimately liked to discourses of 'normalcy,' as well as to gender, race, and other categories of difference that have shaped its technologies and techniques, its professional ideologies, and the objects of its interventions. Davis considers how cosmetic surgery is taken up in representations of cosmetic surgery in medical discourse and in popular culture, drawing on a wide range of cultural manifestations including televised 'infotainment,' popular music, performance art, surgeon biographies, stories of patients, public debates, and medical texts. Davis critically engages with the notion of cosmetic surgery as a neutral technology and shows how it is implicated in the surgical erasure of embodied difference.

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Kathy Davis is associate professor of women's studies and humanities at Utrecht University in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

An intelligent, complicated look at some of the questions surrounding cosmetic surgery. [Davis's] writing is elegant; she avoids jargon but uses precise terms from philosophy and medicine when necessary. All discussions of concepts and terminology unfamiliar to a general reader are accompanied by concise explanations. If all academicians could present their research so lucidly and persuasively, students the world over would rejoice, and non-academics might take more kindly to scholarly books.
The Women's Review Of Books

The essays in this book are consistently stimulating, sometimes disturbing, and raise a whole range of theoretical, ethical, and political issues. Kathy Davis skilfully performs a 'feminist balancing act,' one which recognizes the numerous gendered and commercial pressures while constantly giving full recognition to the importance of human agency.
David Morgan, emeritus professor, University of Manchester

In her insightful new exploration of the feminist and cultural implications of cosmetic surgery, Davis challenges the idea that bodily 'differences' are equally valued, and takes on the debate over the place of agency in surgical intervention to achieve desired appearances. Her critical eye greatly enriches feminist theories of the body.
Judith Lorber, author of Paradoxes of Gender and Gender and the Social Construction of Illness

Davis has written a provocative book.
The Common Review

Kathy Davis does it again! Another brilliant book on the problems, pitfalls, and advantages of cosmetic surgery. In a world so beset with famine, despair, genocide, and terror, more and more of us take refuge in that one thing we believe we can control-our bodies. Kathy Davis shows us that that desire is just as fraught as the rest of the world.
Sander L. Gilman, University of Illinois-Chicago

Keyword Index
Surgery, Plastic - Social aspects.
Country of Publication
Number of Pages

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