Date of Award

4-22-2008

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Elizabeth Sheff - Chair

Second Advisor

Dawn Baunach

Third Advisor

Denise Donnelly

Abstract

Breast and penis augmentations are century old processes of body modification continuing in development and practice today. This Masters thesis is a content analysis of breast and penis augmentation print and internet advertisements to explore one facet of augmentation discourse presented in public space. Relevant theoretical literature includes fetish discourse and medical discourse as existing frameworks that conceptualize augmentation predominantly as a process of body fragmentation. After reviewing this literature, I expand to blend together perspectives from three body theorists, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Michel Foucault and Judith Butler, as an alternate framework for embodiment. I then use content analysis to examine the data collected from 21 print sources and 27 internet sources. The data indicates fetish discourse, focusing on body fragmentation, is the dominant content in breast and penis augmentation advertisements; however, I argue in the conclusion that incorporating elements of embodiment into fetish discourse is a better perspective for future research.

Included in

Sociology Commons

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