Call for papers for a special journal issue on ‘The Anthropology of Beauty Work and Aesthetic Body Modifications’ by Sociologus – Journal for Social Anthropology
The past decades have seen the rise of a global beauty industry, with profound effects on people’s body images and beauty practices worldwide. In the academic debate on aesthetic body modifications and beauty work, the notion of commodification and the assumption of an increasing standardisation and ‘Westernisation’ of bodies and body images have been central. An emerging anthropological literature, however, has put these assumptions into question, documenting the ways in which different styles of bodily appearance and their alteration are intricately bound up with historically produced and culturally situated imaginations of race, class and gender.
Specific looks often serve as a form of social distinction and anthropological research has shown that aesthetic body modifications, understood here as the permanent or semi-permanent alteration of one’s body with technologies such as surgery, tattooing or piercing for aesthetic reasons, have to be understood not only as individual choices, but also as a form of social positioning, aspiring to, in some cases, beauty capital. Moreover, beauty practices and images are spatialised in that they are tied to specific imaginations of modernity, glamour or the nation in urban, marginalised, or diasporic settings. Often taking place in intimate and highly gendered spaces, beauty work seeks to manufacture public ideals of feminity and/or masculinity, or else attempts to alter or subvert these. These features make beauty work and aesthetic body modifications, and with them hair and beauty salons, nail bars, beauty contests and similar spaces excellent sites for anthropological research on the relation between global images and local practices, intimacy, gender, consumption, modernity, as well as the body and the self in contemporary global capitalism.
We are seeking contributions, which expand existing debates on beauty work and aesthetic body modification in social anthropology and related disciplines by drawing from original empirical research. The chosen papers will be published in a special issue of Sociologus – Journal for Social Anthropology.
Sociologus is an internationally known, peer-reviewed journal of social anthropology. It is available online and in print and is listed in the major scholarly indexes, among them the Social Sciences Citation Index. The journal is dedicated to empirical research on cultural diversity, social processes and their transformations and the contrasting forms of social relations. It has no fixed topical or regional focus, but concerns itself with the comparative interpretation and explanation of human behaviour.
Please submit your abstract of up to 1,000 words as a word document by November 23, 2014 on our website (http://www.duncker-humblot.de/index.php/zeitschriften-1/wirtschafts-undsozialwissenschaften/sociologus.html), or per e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- abstract submission by 23rd November 2014
- full manuscript submission (of maximum 8,000 words, including references and notes) by 1st February 2015
- resubmission after peer-review process in early May 2015
- scheduled publication of the special journal issue as Sociologus volume 2, 2016
Guest editor of the special journal issue:
Dr. Claudia Liebelt, editorial assistant of Sociologus
Claudia Liebelt received her PhD at the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg and is a lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Bayreuth. She is currently directing a research project on aesthetic body modifications and feminity in Turkey, funded by the German Research Fund.
Prof. Dr. Erdmute Alber (Bayreuth) Prof. Dr. Bettina Beer (Luzern) Prof. Dr. Eveline Dürr (München)
Editorial board Sociologus:
Prof. Dr. Erdmute Alber (Bayreuth), Prof. Dr. Bettina Beer (Luzern), Prof. Dr. Eveline Dürr (Munich), Dr. Jan-Patrick Heiß (Zurich), Prof. Dr. Reinhart Kößler (Freiburg), Dr. Claudia Liebelt (Bayreuth), Prof. Dr. Toon van Meijl (Nijmegen) Prof. Dr. Michael Schnegg, (Hamburg)