Tuesday, October 8, 2019

To what extent are human bodies products of culture Discuss In Essay

To what extent are human bodies products of culture Discuss In relation to Susan Benson and Anne Balsamo theories and give 2 ex - Essay Example 123); at the same time, it served as an instrument to the expression of one’s culture, beliefs and practices (e.g., tattoos, body piercings, etc.) (Shilling, 2002, p. 68). Nevertheless, cultural influences on the beliefs of the society pose questions about the abilities of the body to satisfy human craving for perfection. The physical limitations of the body, especially in the context of gender, are causes of these commotions. At the spring of technology, the frustrations that bred from these limitations made humans create cybernetic organisms or the cyborgs, concede to cosmetic surgeries, and use equipments that could help correct the issues â€Å"concerning health, beauty and ageing† (Lewis, 2002, p. 294). Because of the increasing attention gained by the human body, several individuals and groups have formulated theories on the bases of these shifts. Theories on Human Body and the Culture As culture affect people’s beliefs and practices in almost all aspects o f living, its influence on human perception about their body has also been inevitable. This is plainly evident particularly in the Western civilizations. Consequently, the collection of research studies and related literature on the account of identity and differences as determined by the body itself, and how humans have proceeded to initiate changes and created new ways to modify the limitations of the natural body which promote control especially in the aspects of health, beauty and aging, have accumulated to unexpected degrees. Subsequently, theories by Foucault, and others, attempt to explain the relationships between the society’s views of the human body, its causes and effects, and the internal and external factors that play a role in the circumstances involved (e.g., human emotions and drives, language, among others) and the current trend of human ascendancy over it (Lewis, 2002, p. 295; Shilling, 2002, p. 65; Balsamo, 1999, p. 20). The presence of social standards and the pressure that it puts on the populace, as well as the submission of the society to these norms, propose that despite the intrinsic diversities that result from â€Å"the modernist ideology of individualism† (Lewis, 2002, p. 295), culture remains to be a crucial and major determinant of how the people view the body and its value. With this, and with the assistance of technology, the human race try to develop the body into the image which suits the idealists view of how the body should be by maintaining health (e.g., exercise and proper diet) and even undergoing cosmetic surgeries; existing in the absence of or surpassing â€Å"bodily flaws, disease, obesity, ageing and (even) death† (Lewis, 2002, p. 295). This is also why bodybuilders, cyborgs and robots, and even those who have anorexia and bulimia exist -- ways in which humans try to demonstrate control over their bodies to achieve what is considered by the society as ideal or within the bounds of social standard s. As a result, experts suggest that what human body is now -- how it is treated, looked at and valued -- is a product of cultures that desire for standardized perfection. Still, the presence of the aforementioned advances towards the â€Å"improvement† of the human body does not mean the complete absence of what is unwanted. Mary Douglas even stated that â€Å"that which is negated is not thereby removed† (as cited in Benson, 2002, p. 124). Hence, people continue to struggle between the threats of the internal and

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