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Theories Of The Visible Body

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores how visual and body-related paradigms intersect in the (re)construction of identity. It then explores the situation of the already marked body, how the reconstruction of identity in the visual economy of Occupation works vis-à-vis the "non-standard" body: women; the sick; "abject" groups such as burakumin descendants; "sublime" groups such as the imperial family; and those marked by ethnic or racial differences. The chapter addresses two distinct types of visible body: (1) the (apparently) racially and ethnically "Japanese" body whose marked status, as either abject or sublime, becomes visible only through socially constructed or linguistic cues; and (2) the gendered, raced, or "monstrous" body that is always already marked by its visible difference from the imagined ontological norm. It is traditionally in terms of restricted spaces that the transcendent and the abject borders of the Japanese body have been made visible.

Keywords: burakumin descendants; imperial family; Japanese body; monstrous body; racial differences; women



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