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The Body under Socialism - Regimes and Representations

Editor: Daniela Koleva
CAS/Riva Publishers

Although bodies may seem biologically constant, they are actually historically bound, culturally situated and mediated. That is why questions about the body and corporeality are legitimate, as well as the questions about the representations and the regimes of physicality under socialism. How do the social and the corporeal intertwine and interact, how does the symbolic order translate into a somatic one?

The authors in this volume approach the topic through various aspects of the biopolitical imaginary: from scientific theorizations and the ensuing medical and educational practices through legal and institutional discourses about health and reproduction, to efforts to channel the consumption and, finally, to the body as metaphor in the memorial landscape of socialism. The authors seek the agenda that has imposed the model and the regimes of socialist corporeality, as well as the changes of this model and its regimes over the years; the grounds and ways of disciplining, normalization and stylization of the body. In their entirety these studies demonstrate that the body, as a receptacle of meanings, has no immediate political affiliation and could therefore convey effective political and ideological messages.

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