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About this product
- DescriptionWinner, Body and Embodiment Award presented by the American Sociological Association Imagine yourself without a face-the task seems impossible. The face is a core feature of our physical identity. Our face is how others identify us and how we think of our 'self'. Yet, human faces are also functionally essential as mechanisms for communication and as a means of eating, breathing, and seeing. For these reasons, facial disfigurement can endanger our fundamental tions of self and identity or even be life threatening, at worse. Precisely because it is so difficult to conceal our faces, the disfigured face compromises appearance, status, and, perhaps, our very way of being in the world. In Saving Face, sociologist Heather Laine Talley examines the cultural meaning and social significance of interventions aimed at repairing faces defined as disfigured. Using ethgraphy, participant-observation, content analysis, interviews, and autoethgraphy, Talley explores four sites in which a range of faces are repaired: face transplantation, facial feminization surgery, the reality show Extreme Makeover, and the international charitable organization Operation Smile. Throughout, she considers how efforts focused on repair sometimes intensify the stigma associated with disfigurement. Drawing upon experiences volunteering at a camp for children with severe burns, Talley also considers alternative interventions and everyday practices that both challenge stigma and help those seen as disfigured negotiate outsider status. Talley delves into the promise and limits of facial surgery, continually examining how we might understand appearance as a facet of privilege and a dimension of inequality. Ultimately, she argues that facial work is t simply a conglomeration of reconstructive techniques aimed at the human face, but rather, that appearance interventions are increasingly treated as lifesaving work. Especially at a time when aesthetic techlogies carrying greater risk are emerging and when discrimination based on appearance is rampant, this important book challenges us to think critically about how we see the human face.
- Author BiographyHeather Laine Talley is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Western Carolina University. More about her writing and work can be found at www.heatherlainetalley.com.
- Author(s)Heather Talley
- PublisherNew York University Press
- Date of Publication15/08/2014
- SubjectSocial Issues, Services & Welfare
- Place of PublicationNew York
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintNew York University Press
- Content Noteblack & white illustrations
- Weight367 g
- Width3895 mm
- Height5830 mm
- Spine17 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US)
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