The Politics of Women's Bodies Sexuality, Appearance, and Behavior

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  • Edition: 4th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2013-11-01
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Since 1998, The Politics of Women's Bodies: Sexuality, Appearance, and Behavior has served as the premiere text in the area of women and the body. This revised and updated fourth edition brings together recent (and a few classic) critical writings in this important field. The selections reflect three themes: how ideas about women's bodies in the United States are socially constructed, how these social constructions can be used to control women's lives, and how women attempt to resist these forces. Exceptionally well-written and edited to be accessible and pedagogically friendly, the articles in this collection cover a wide range of topics while paying attention to class, ethnicity, disability, body size, and sexual orientation.

Author Biography

Rose Weitz is Professor of Women's and Gender Studies at the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University. She is the author of several books, including The Sociology of Health, Illness, and Health Care: A Critical Approach (2012) and Rapunzel's Daughters: What Women's Hair Tells Us About Women's Lives (2004).

Samantha Kwan is an Associate Professor of Sociology and a Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies faculty affiliate at the University of Houston. She is coauthor, with Jennifer Graves, of Framing Fat: Competing Constructions in Contemporary Culture (2013) and coeditor, with Chris Bobel, of Embodied Resistance: Challenging the Norms, Breaking the Rules (2011).

Table of Contents

*=New to this edition


Part I. The Social Construction of Women's Bodies

1. A History of Women's Bodies, Rose Weitz
2. Believing is Seeing: Biology as Ideology, Judith Lorber
3. Becoming a Gendered Body: Practices of Preschools, Karin A. Martin
*4. Medicalization, Natural Childbirth and Birthing Experiences, Sarah Jane Brubaker and Heather E. Dillaway
5. Foucault, Femininity, and the Modernization of Patriarchal Power, Sandra Lee Bartky
*6. Integrating Disability, Transforming Feminist Theory, Rosemarie Garland-Thomson

Part II. The Politics of Sexuality

7. Breasted Experience: The Look and the Feeling, Iris Marion Young
8. Daring to Desire: Culture and the Bodies of Adolescent Girls, Deborah L. Tolman
*9. A Tale of Two Technologies: HPV Vaccination, Male Circumcision, and Sexual Health, Laura M. Carpenter and Monica J. Casper
10. "Get Your Freak On": Sex, Babies, and Images of Black Femininity, Patricia Hill Collins
11. Brain, Brow, and Booty: Latina Iconicity in U.S. Popular Culture, Isabel Molina Guzmán and Angharad N. Valdivia
12. "So Full of Myself as a Chick": Goth Women, Sexual Independence, and Gender Egalitarianism, Amy C. Wilkins

Part III. The Politics of Appearance

13. Designing Women: Cultural Hegemony and the Exercise of Power Among Women who Have Undergone Elective Mammoplasty, Patricia Gagné and Deanna McGaughey
14. Women and Their Hair: Seeking Power Through Resistance and Accommodation, Rose Weitz
*15. Navigating Public Spaces: Gender, Race, and Body Privilege in Everyday Life, Samantha Kwan
*16. The Moral Underpinnings of Beauty: A Meaning-Based Explanation for Light and Dark Complexions in Advertising, Shyon Baumann
17. Reclaiming the Female Body: Women Body Modifiers and Feminist Debates, Victoria Pitts

Part IV. The Politics of Behavior

18. From the "Muscle Moll" to the "Butch" Ballplayer: Mannishness, Lesbianism, and Homophobia in U.S. Women's Sports, Susan K. Cahn
19. Branded with Infamy: Inscriptions of Poverty and Class in the United States, Vivyan Adair
20. Backlash and Continuity: The Political Trajectory of Fetal Rights, Rachel Roth
*21. Hijab and American Muslim Women: Creating the Space for Autonomous Selves, Rhys H. Williams and Gira Vashi
22. Compulsive Heterosexuality: Masculinity and Dominance, C.J. Pascoe
*23. Being Undocumented and Intimate Partner Violence (IPV): Multiple Vulnerabilities Through the Lens of Feminist Intersectionality, Margaret E. Adams and Jacquelyn Campbell

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