Body Piercing and Identity Construction

A Comparative Perspective - New York, New Orleans, Wroclaw Lisiunia A. Romanienko
A theoretical exploration of piercing and other forms of body modification that urban communities of defiance use to express their identity, this analysis demonstrates the socioeconomic, political, and sexual conditions that give rise to these unique mechanisms of discursive dissent. Romanienko also describes the resources available that contribute to its popularity, the disenchantment with modernity and conventional methods of political engagement that compels defiant communities to choose these particular forms of embodied defiance, as well as the profound socioeconomic and political challenges solidifying embodied militancy for the immediate future. Using a variety of quantitative and qualitative methodologies, body piercing is shown to be an important factor in the struggle for authenticity and global solidarity with the disenfranchised, particularly in developing cultural contexts. Extracts of the manuscript have received awards from the Society for the Study of Social Problems and the Mid-South Sociological Association. “This examination of body piercing and anarchist communities is a tour de force over the academic discourse on sub-cultural networks, identity construction, and maintenance and resistance. Lisa’s lengthy association, lasting more than fifteen years, with body piercing and anarchist communities across the world has enabled her to gain valuable firsthand insights and to provide nuanced explanations rooted in a wide range of diverse conceptual frameworks that are seldom used so interactively in a single manuscript dealing with body modification.” —Dawood H. Sultan, Assistant Professor, University of South Florida “A powerful portrayal of some of the most animated members of the emerging militant movement of love.” —Waldemar “Major” Fydrych, founder of Poland’s Orange Alternative [Pomaranczowa Alternatywa] and the Fairies and Fools Political Party Lisiunia A. Romanienko is currently the Hedwig Katschinka Research Fellow of the Inter-University Research Centre for Technology, Work, and Culture at Graz University of Technology, Austria. 280 pp. / 0-230-11032-0 / $85.00 cl.

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