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Fetisch, mode, performativitet: en studie av relationen mellan kropp och estetik
Södertörn University College, School of Culture and Communication.
2010 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

For centuries, the human body has been used as a mean to project the norms, moral values and aesthetic preferences that exist throughout society. It has been controlled through constrictive fashion, family and social virtues and through how we perceive gender and sexuality. This essay strives to show, not only how the body and the aesthetic values coexist, but also how they work together and influence each other, with the body as the aesthetic medium. To do this, Michel Foucault’s writings of sexuality and his theories on morality and discipline, as well as Judith Butler’s works on normativity and performativity are being used. Carolyn Korsmeyer’s work on aesthetic theory from a feminist point of view, specifically what she writes about beauty and the sublime, is also utilized, together with Sigmund Freud’s theories on variant sexuality.

As human beings, we have a tendency to view each other as followers of a certain norm; more specifically a gender based one. We divide each other into either men or women, but always as heterosexuals with a desire to procreate. What happens then when we come across someone who either is gay, bi- or transsexual, a transvestite, or someone who’s primary sexual interest is focused on a body part, a piece of clothing, on giving or receiving pain, physical restraint, or to dominate or being dominated? There still exist a social tendency to view these as being outside the norm, but my point in this essay is that these are just as much a performative action as is the one being a heterosexual man or woman. This because we humans are performative at our core, we always stage our gender and sexuality, as well as philosophical and political attitudes, with everyone else being both the audience and fellow actors.

Fetishistic practices and BDSM are part of the aesthetic world by their close relationship with aesthetic sublimity. By engaging in one or both of these, the fetishist or BDSM-enthusiast uses his or her body as a mean to experience the delight that is the core of sublimity, as well as beauty. Beauty and sublimity are also the keywords used to describe the pleasure derived from the visual appearance of the female body and the power eminated from the male. These have been highlighted through clothing such as corsets, high heels and uniforms, and all of these have also found their way into both the world of fashion and into the wardrobes of fetishists and those engaging in BDSM. These practises have had a high influence on the haute couture of fashion, mostly due to their provocative values.

My point in this essay is then that the aesthetic world consists of something more than just art, for example a painting hung on a wall. It consists of bodily actions and responses, all of which can be seen as parts of a purely aesthetic experience.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. , p. 77
Keywords [sv]
estetik, kropp, sexualitet, fetischism, performativitet, disciplin, moral, normer, Foucault, Butler, Korsmeyer, skönhet, sublimitet, mode, korsett, klackar, uniformer
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-3993OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-3993DiVA, id: diva2:357080
Uppsok
Humanities, Theology
Supervisors
Available from: 2010-10-18 Created: 2010-10-15 Last updated: 2010-10-18Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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