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American Body Culture - Essay Example

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The agency or authorship of language, culture, social groups and macro structures in the making of the social construction of reality has been highlighted by theorists from radically different platforms. Berger and Luckmann (1967) see the important role of language as the supreme co-ordinates of life…
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American Body Culture
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"American Body Culture"

Download file to see previous pages The social constructions of obese Americans by agencies from the United States and from the rest of the world are also based on the authorship by macro structures as social stratificatory systems such as class, race, gender, ethnicity, and culture. On the other hand, such constructions are logically based on nothing but commonsensical world views and received wisdom.
For Adorno (1991), the importance of cultural industry is not merely limited to its economic capabilities (which is, of course, relatively strong); but also to the prominent role it has on the making and unmaking of peoples' identities, attitudes, values and lifestyles. In general, culture industries from around the world are playing an important role in posing slim body and fat body antagonistically. During(1999) is of the view that primary production or manufacturing is becoming decreasingly important sectors of the post-modern economy. Therefore, the manufacturing or production of docile bodies in terms dominant aesthetics and values is a major function of today's post-modern economy.
The end of the cold war marked the beginning of a 'cultural turn' in the globalized world. The worldwide dissemination of the values and attitudes of the West in general and the United States of America in particular has been the focus of attention for not only academicians but also for ordinary people from across the world. There have been intense debates over the impact of globalization and the consequent transformations in the realm of body culture from a number of conflicting standpoints. However, body culture should no longer be perceived as a locally bounded 'whole way of life' as the components of culture themselves have profoundly changed (Baker, 1999:37). Pieterse (1995) suggests that culture should not be viewed as introverted, tied to place and inward-looking as it used to be in history. Rather, culture is seen as an outward-looking 'translocal learning process' (Pieterse, 1995:62). Thus, body is constructed both locally and globally in accordance with the prevailing trends in the market. Market is not for body. But, body is certainly for market. The slim body is an essential ingredient of the successful formulas of marketing.
The characteristics of media have changed profoundly in the last two to three decades. They are not merely technological advancements but related to the advancements in life style, especially body culture. The social, political, economic and cultural aspects of the new body culture are carefully crafted in terms of the specific needs digital capitalism has on bodies. Tomlinson defines cultural imperialism as "the use of political and economic power to exalt and spread the values and habits of a foreign culture at the expense of a native culture" (1992, p.23). Therefore, the power of new media conglomerates from the U.S is disseminating a body culture which values only slim bodies in direct opposition to the obese bodies. People from around the world, however, see obese Americans are symbols of the U.S might expressed as imperialism. Sametime, the media is highlighting the virtues and greatness of being slim in opposition to obese bodies and thereby, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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