Missing Bodies: The Politics of Visibility

Missing Bodies: The Politics of Visibility

by Monica J. Casper, Lisa Jean Moore
     
 

We know more about the physical body—how it begins, how it responds to illness, even how it decomposes—than ever before. Yet not all bodies are created equal, some bodies clearly count more than others, and some bodies are not recognized at all. In Missing Bodies, Monica J. Casper and Lisa Jean Moore explore the surveillance, manipulations,

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Overview

We know more about the physical body—how it begins, how it responds to illness, even how it decomposes—than ever before. Yet not all bodies are created equal, some bodies clearly count more than others, and some bodies are not recognized at all. In Missing Bodies, Monica J. Casper and Lisa Jean Moore explore the surveillance, manipulations, erasures, and visibility of the body in the twenty-first century. The authors examine bodies, both actual and symbolic, in a variety of arenas: pornography, fashion, sports, medicine, photography, cinema, sex work, labor, migration, medical tourism, and war. This new politics of visibility can lead to the overexposure of some bodies—Lance Armstrong, Jessica Lynch—and to the near invisibility of others—dead Iraqi civilians, illegal immigrants, the victims of HIV/AIDS and "natural" disasters.

Missing Bodies presents a call for a new, engaged way of seeing and recovering bodies in a world that routinely, often strategically, obscures or erases them. It poses difficult, even startling questions: Why did it take so long for the United States media to begin telling stories about the "falling bodies" of 9/11? Why has the United States government refused to allow photographs or filming of flag-draped coffins carrying the bodies of soldiers who are dying in Iraq? Why are the bodies of girls and women so relentlessly sexualized? By examining the cultural politics at work in such disappearances and inclusions of the physical body the authors show how the social, medical and economic consequences of visibility can reward or undermine privilege in society.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814716786
Publisher:
New York University Press
Publication date:
07/01/2009
Series:
Biopolitics Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments
1 Introduction: The Bodies We See, and Some That Are Not Here
Part I: Innocents
2 Seen but Not Heard: Consequences of Innocence Lost
3 Calculated Losses: Taking the Measure of Infant Mortality
Part II: Exposed
4 Biodisaster: “The Greatest Weapon of Mass Destruction on Earth”
5 Fluid Matters: Human Biomonitoring as Gendered Surveillance
Part III: Heroes
6 “They Used Me”: Manufacturing Heroes in Wartime
7 It Takes Balls: Lance Armstrong and the Triumph of American Masculinity
8 Conclusion: Excavations
Notes
References
Index
About the Authors

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