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Additional resources for Alexander Kluge: Raw Material for the Imagination (Amsterdam University Press - Film Culture in Transition)
Yet, this perspective need not assume that all practices similarly express norms and reflect social control. Because the body, gender, and other categories are seen as continually created in ongoing practices of embodiment, they are de-essentialized, stripped of any “naturalness” or inevitability. Read optimistically, this view affords the possibility of radicalism in body practice. Because the body-subject is socially constructed, it may be open to deconstruction and rewriting. Even though the body may be considered always already inscribed, it is never fully inscribed.
Bodies lived, grew old, withered; reason worked according to universal laws of logic and produced timeless truths. Bodies distinguished individuals from one another; reason was the common denominator. Bodies were subject to desires, emotions, and drives that were appallingly outside the subject’s control; rational thought was a careful, self-conscious process that the subject could undertake in a context of choice and autonomy. . 11 In modern social thought, then, the body was often assumed to be a fixed, material fact of being to be transcended by reason.
3 That the practices are perceived to reflect cultural disaffection is often cited as one reason for concern. I would argue that another source of contention is that the practices are associated with unconventional sexuality and gender. Gay and SM body modification has faced particularly aggressive censorship and criminalization, and women’s body modifications have been pathologized as a particularly gendered form of self-harm. 4 Arguing that the practices harm the body’s integrity and constitute self-attack, they have linked the Western appropriation of tattoos, scars, and piercings to anti-feminist backlash.