The Desirable Body Cultural Fetishism and the Erotics of Consumption
- List Price: $17.95
- Binding: Paperback
- Publisher: Univ of Illinois Pr
- Publish date: 02/01/2001
- ISBN: 9780252069512
- ISBN10: 025206951X
Proceeding from the theories of Marx, Freud, and Lacan, Stratton delineates the structures of consumerism and desire that, since around 1850, have brought about the fetishization and spectacularization of the female (and more recently the male) body. Stratton ties spectacularization to the primacy of the visual, as evinced in grand expositions, photography, the cinema, and clandestine surveillance techniques. Among other topics, he explores an enduring fascination with man-made women in literature (Villiers de I'lsle-Adam's Tomorrow's Eve, E. T. A. Hoffmann's The Sandman) and film (The Stepford Wives, Mannequin). He also explores female patterns of consumption (from "shop till you drop" to anorexia) and, concomitant with a more public homosexuality, the fetishization of the male body (e.g., Arnold Schwarzenegger and ads for Calvin Klein underwear).
By focusing on the way bourgeois capitalism works to structure those who live within it, Stratton helps explain why destructive patterns of consumption and desire persist in our purportedly enlightened age.