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Case Study Assignment
Body as Capital
group paradigm wikis
Body as Capital
Human Capital theory
Body as Capital
of the body as
is concerned with the concept that the body, as a
for, or used to
any other sort of necessary
including but not limited to
etc. Some examples of using the body as capital can be found in
mail order brides
, etc. In using the body as capital a person is putting forth effort, time, and in some cases their life in order to better their position in society and gain some form of resource that would otherwise not be available to them. One
that looks at body as capital in depth is Marxist theory. According to traditional
, an idea behind the body as capital is that often times
people who do not originally have the means to gain certain resources use their body in order to create more opportunities for themselves. Another way of understanding the use of body as capital is to gain non tangible resources that bring other value from
can be applied to many professions and
, and can help us explore ideas surrounding
of labor, and discourses of the body itself in a manner that links our bodies directly to the framework of
in which we live. Our bodies are tools in our
, and can thus be used, abused, traded and generative of
Image Courtesy of deadwildroses.wordpress.com
Table of Contents
Body as Capital
Current and Future Trends
Using the Body: For Money or For Social Respect?
Fields of Study
Major Theorists and Texts
Adam Smith 1776 - Wealth of Nations
rom the beginning of time, the use of the body for gain has taken countless forms. From
to the use of
, humans continue to reaffirm the value of a body as an exchangeable
. Ancient civilizations such as the
considered a bodies’ worth by its ability to persist to the afterlife; the sacrifice of earthly body for heavenly glory was considered to be a gain of family honor.
history document the use of gladiators for political gain, powerful rulers using the life of their slaves to illustrate prestige. Within the early to mid 19th century, Karl Marx gave his twist on capital as he theorized his own economic and
worldview. Marx sought to illustrate how
, the currently dominant form of economic management, lead to the oppression of the proletariat, and the solution to this oppression was the empowerment of all classes. Even in contemporary world society there are examples of capital gain via the body, as the world has seen an increase of human organ sales along side the growing presence of globalization. The beginning of
and the start of body as capital are fully intertwined and unable to be separated. Inseparable as the two might be, the theorizing of how bodily capital effects society has been well documented.
Many different authors over the generations have theorized the beginning of body as capital and the overall progression of this "capital" gain. Author
clearly states in his book,
A Love for Sale: A World History of Prostitution
, that the best documented "beginning of theorized" prostitution occurred in
. He states " But even centuries before second century AD..., there was
comprehensive Greek literature of learned and humorous writings about commercial sex
. These and other writings show us the history of prostitution, as a discipline of study, is over two thousand years old (63)". As Ringdal illustrates, two thousand years ago great minds and writers of the day gave thought to what prostitution meant in their society. The theorizing of prostitution still occurs today. Many such as Ringdal simply consider the topic of prostitution as a part of society that should not be discriminated or encouraged, but simply documented. Some activists who fight in favor of prostitution, or rather, in favor of the rights of sex workers, such as
, considered the line of work a females
; a choice that should be considered as valid as any other night job. Further still, there are hundreds of
around the country that hope to eradicate the industry itself. Prostitution is only one of many different realms of the phenomenon of trading bodily functions, or bodies themselves that continues to spark debate today, and will no doubt, continue to do so in the future as this realm of investigation continues to grow and develop.
This video discusses the dangers and advantages of selling organs, specifically the kidney. It looks at who gives their kidney and how selling your body as capital goes into more of a class and geographic disadvantage.
Current and Future Trends
and conflicting opinions aside, the evolution of body as capital is extremely apparent. The emergence of technological advances has allowed for many new and unique manifestations of “body as capital” to accelerate. The body of a prodigy basketball player can be sent half way across the world in less then a day; molding a child's ability through state of the art
and costly coaching. A man in Maryland has the ability to order a wife from a distant country all from the comfort of his home. No longer is the body localized and stagnant to place of birth. Planes, boats and other forms of transportation allow for bodies to be consumed and exchanged at an unprecedented level. Technology has furthered this evolution by segmenting the body into partial capital. Medical innovations have progressed to such an extent that dividing a human body into
organs, limbs and plasma
is becoming an extremely profitable business. Finally, technological advances have made the skills and ability of
move beyond what was has ever been previously conceived. The worth of a soldiers life is no longer a quantifying number in a line of ranks, but is a larger investment by the funding government. No longer are farmers and local men fighting for their countries as a act of
; the life of a
is now a profession, molding an American body into a multi-million dollar government instruiment.
Where the theorization of 'body as capital' has seen its greatest evolution is within the field of
, and the manners in which we have socially constructed the worth of a human body. The profitability of a child has grown tremendously over history as the desire of young talent and young bodies increases.
Child sex trafficking
is a world
, and a business that grosses over 27 billion dollars a year. Indonesian girls and boys as young as three and four can be sold for high profits, forcing some parents to adopt a
outlook on their family. Parents might have to sell one child to care and feed for the others. Within America, developing and nurturing young athletic talent has become a large facet of the economy.
have increased tenfold since 1999, and have seen children leaving their family as young as 12 to pursue their goals of becoming professional athletes. With both academics and athletics, there is no price tag on developing young talent. It is clear that the conception of 'body as capital' has experienced drastic changes throughout human histories, and with the ever
economy there are clear indications that it will continue to evolve. With the continued evolution of this field of thought, there will also be continued clashes, as different disciplines explore the varied nature and theory behind the use of body as a form of capital.
This video goes through the life of a sex trafficking victim from the United States and the experience one woman in particular had to deal with. It describes the physical abuse she went through and the mental abuse she went through watching other children go through the same thing
The field of thought that considers “The Body as Capital” is comprised of scholars that cross a huge breadth of disciplines. Many
scholars amongst others have poured over the idea of what it means for a body to be used as capital or currency, for a body to be generative of financial capital, and how, due to this process of commoditization human bodies are objectified, used, and in many cases abused. Due to the vast array of theorists commenting on this social process of body transformation there are areas of controversy, or perhaps better put, areas of divergence between thought and theorization.
Using the Body: For Money or For Social Respect?
One area where this divergence is especially apparent is between various scholars who conceptualize body capital as either the use of a body to generate monetary gains, or the use of a body to generate
and embodied capital. For example, several theorists comment on the money associated with
a young star athlete to a team. The star power of this young athlete’s ability will draw large crowds, generate
, and push television networks to broadcast that team’s games. However, other scholars look at the body as generative of a different capital,
. As discussed by
, a famed Berkeley sociologist, the presence of a star boxer at a local gym gives the boxer himself as well as those other gym members a certain amount of social capital that is at their disposal. In other words, the presence of this boxer generates greater power for gym members. He also discusses body capital as that learned experience sometimes called “
. This sort of embodied capital represents learned ability, talent, hours of practice, etc, that make a competitor a great competitor. Rarely are these three components brought together and examined as equally important pieces embedded within all examples of ‘body as capital,’ and yet in many ways it seems logical that they should be examined together in order to better understand the breadth of consequences resulting from
of human bodies. Authors should seek to incorporate the concept of ‘body as money maker,’ ‘body as tool to gain
,’ ‘and body as product of embodied skills,’ into one cohesive theorization—not three broad categories.
The Issue of Agency
There is also a break in the literature about the nature of human
in the realm of transformation of the body into a capital generative machine or tool. When one considers the use of the body in the context of global
the agency is stripped from the individual in question. As examined by
who describes the creation of “
” through enclosure, partitioning, and hierarchy we can see that in this context he believes that agency is in many ways stripped from the soldier, and the body is molded into the desired product. In other writings, it seems that agency is again stripped from the possessor of the body itself, and yet they are not trained into their position of having a body which is generative of capital, they are given this bodily capability at birth. As
Patricia Hill Collins
writes, “…within American institutions such as the
Black youth are ill prepared to enter into the traditional workforce and they are turning to their bodies and identities as a means of generating capital”(Collins, 2006). Within this piece she goes on to argue that Black youth have an enhanced ability to see their body as capital due to institutions such as
economics, and classical prostitution. In this way agency is stripped from these youth, and yet their anatomical identities have been
as entities to be coveted, exotic, and worth money, where their brains are not seen the same way. In contrast, we can also see stories of those who work tirelessly to train their bodies to make themselves able to generate capital. Many
, and indeed many
choose of their own accord to enter into a field using their bodies as a means of capital generation, in any of the forms mention previously. Individual agency is an important point of divergence between theorists, and yet it is reflective of the many different realms that examine the body in terms of capital. As is often the case when it comes to the idea of choice, and agency, there appears to be stark contrast in the conceptualization of agency across the traditional
Agency Across Gender
This distinction of individual autonomy or agency becomes particularly apparent across
lines. As fits with the
-centered, male dominated and
institutions in which we live women's bodies are often forced into work utilizing their body as tools for capital gain, versus the previously researched male athletes, many of whom strive for bodily fame (albeit not all athletes in this realm). This can be noted especially when one considers
, and the sex industry. Here the use of the body, and the
of various body parts is especially apparent. The prominence of rear entry images in
illuminates the way that a person can be separated from their individuality seen in their face and upper body, by being reduced to a single bodily orifice, a orifice which is valued only for the pleasure it can give to men, and otherwise shunned and whispered about in society.
Many people might argue that all work done by people to earn a living wage is reflective of the body as capital. After all, don't we all use our bodies to earn wages? Aren't the prostitute, the CEO, and the teacher all in same boat. This is another example of where the literature reflects a contrast. Essentially, what some scholars argue is that
l (or the skills possessed by humans who work in any institution) and body capital (the body as a tool for earning capital, equal to capital itself, or worthy of capital based on nothing but the body) are two and the same. However, what other scholars argue is that the CEO, valued for her mind as well as body has a fundamentally different link binding them to their body, and their body to their career, than does the prostitute, the athlete, or the manual laborer. Should the CEO suffer an accident that leaves them paralyzed, they will have the resources and the mental capacity to continue their work with only small setbacks. The prostitute, would not. This is where a Marxist class analysis may come in useful further examining the class difference between the working
, and the
whose bodies act as mere vehicles for their minds, where society places greater value.
This video, a segment from the Tyra Banks show, explores the worth of a virgin body, as conceived of in American culture.The girl featured eventually received over one million dollars for selling her virginity, directly using her body and the attributes ascribed to it, to make a profit.
Fields of Study
The origin, beginning, starting-point, cause, ultimate source, etc. from which “body as capital” generated was this idea that the human body and its ingredients can be something that is not only valued, but is also exchangeable, and worth monetary compensation. Worth can correspond with
, a meal, a trade etc. this gradient of worth can be seen to vary across
locality, race, gender. A disjointed realm of exploration, the conceptualization of the human body as capital crosses a breadth of disciplines, and draws from ancient as well as contemporary theorists, texts, and realms of academia. One field which examines this realm of the human experience is sociology. A sociological approach examines the nature of the social construction of bodies, and the application of worth to some bodies over others.
Beauty as Capital
A sociological perspective examines the idea of
. Beauty is a word employed in every
denoting people that hold certain desired aesthetic attributes. Attribution of beauty varies across cultures and is displayed in specific culturally dictated and socially specific
Norms to what beauty depicts are highly subjective amongst different communities as well as individuals. For
beauty is considered as the expression of
. “That is beautiful, which is favorable to all,” says a
hymn. The actual meaning of the word “Shivam” is favorable –so the beauty is that which does good to all. Even though the features and colors are good but his/her heart is bad there is no beauty. For
,beauty is marked by broad hips and physical expression of an ability to conceive, birth, and rear children. In
, the lighter your skin is the more beautiful you are considered, a symptom of global racial prejudice accorind to many ethnic studies scholars. Consequently, many Asian women
bleach their skin
or use face cream to lighten their skin tone. Cross-culturally there is no constant definition of beauty. It is ever changing yet the power held b those who fit social conceptions of beauty is omnipresent. These culturally contingent definitions of beauty mean that the worth of a body may change across borders. However, in many realms where bodies, body parts, and manual labor are utilized beauty may play little or no role. One field where beauty often becomes of great importance, especially in this global moment, is in the world of performance.
Performance as Capital
Shifting perspectives again, one can view the body as an active investment. In dealing with
and the billions of dollars that go into professional sporting events, body parts are essentially worth fortunes. Tiger Woods for example is arguably one of the greatest athletes of all time. With a perfect hip turn while maximizing shoulder rotation and incredibly steady hands, Mr. Woods, formerly the
World No. 1
, is the highest-paid professional athlete in the world, having earned an estimated $90.5 million from winnings and endorsements in 2010. The accolades he has earned are too numerous to list in their entirety.
is on a fast track to be the first billionaire athlete ever. So much effort and dollar bills are centered around this athlete based on a skill set intimately linked to his body. Another realm of performance-based capital is within the bold white letters of
. Before 2003's
Pirates of the Caribbean
, no one would have pegged
to become the highest-paid actor. The first Pirates movie earned $654 million at the global box office. The franchise has gone on to earn a total of $2.7 billion, and a fourth film is slated for 2011. Between June 2009 and June 2010, Depp was the highest-paid actor in Hollywood, earning a total $75 million. His ability to almost guarantee a big box office means studios are willing to pay whatever it takes to get the audience draw, and thus economic return promised by "Depp magic”. Tiger Woods and Johnny Depp are human capital exhibitions. Their bodies becomes froms of investment as the presence of their bodies in film, or in tournaments creates unique opportunities for public attention and economic return. It is this broad conceptualization of the audiences 'gaze,' and the manners in which audiences, or people consume others that lead theorists to consider practices of body capital as
. Many theorists then look to their subject with a much more
Body Capital: Marxism and Feminism
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An ideology for the common worker or the proletariat.
along with its subsequent
political frameworks advocates a move towards social equality of outcome where a hard laborer reaps the same benefits as a more specialized worker like a doctor or businessman. It attempts to close the gap between those who give a great deal of
to their occupation and those who simply hoard the benefits of being born into an upper class
. What places value on specific jobs if it is not the hard toll taken on a person's body? Since every job is important and a necessity for society, why are the jobs where the body is put into labor often awarded less pay, and commonly associated with a lack of education and culturally degraded? Marxism is and was a social movement to restore the status of the common laborer relative to those who sit atop their mounds of money and simply incur the benefits of interest,
, and the exploitation of the working classes. Another critical lens which analyzes the use and abuse of bodies in this context is
speaks to the differences between the male use of the body for capital and female use of the body as capital. All too often a woman's body is used as capital but only for sexual use.
Mail order brides
, sex workers,
sexual trafficked women
, the list goes on. However if you look at men who get paid to use their body as capital it is generally for things such as athletics and sports, trade work, or
; all which require some form of talent or specific skill. Since men get paid much more in the athletic industry than women do, it would seem that more value is placed on the male use of the body for capital than female use. Even in the porn industry males, in particular gay men, get paid much more than women playing the same roles. The outcomes of this for women mean not only economic disadvantage,but social status discrepancies between women and their male counterparts.
Major Theorists and Texts
Adam Smith 1776 - Wealth of Nations
Courtesy of Mentalfloss.com
was an important Scottish political philosopher and economist whose famous work Wealth of Nations (1776) set the tone for work on politics and economics for many people even through today. This was, in fact, the first comprehensive effort to study the nature of capital, the development of industry and the effects of large-scale
in Europe. Adam Smith's fundamental argument was that individuals should be allowed to pursue their own private economic interests as much as possible and so long as they do not violate basic principles of justice. In this way, Smith thought, they would do much more to further the public good and public interests than if the same people were to try to help the public deliberately and intentionally. Smith called this the invisible hand of the market - although everyone is acting in their own self-interest, they are led to achieve the good of all as if by an invisible hand of economic forces. Therefore, outside interference will inevitably lead to disaster. This became known as
Human (body) capital is related to Marx's concept of labor power in that he believed
workers sold their labor power in order to receive income (wages and salaries). He believed that this power could become a marketable object and sold only if three core components worked in tandem. These were as follows:
1. The worker actually works, exerts his or her mind and body, in order to earn "interest."
2. A free worker cannot sell his human capital in one go; it is far from being a liquid asset, even more illiquid than shares and land. He does not sell his skills, but contracts to utilize those skills, in the same way that an industrialist sells his produce, not his machinery. The exception here are slaves, whose human capital can be sold, though the slave does not earn an income himself.
He regarded labor power as the most important of the productive forces of human beings. Labor power can be simply defined as work-capacity, the ability to do work. Under capitalism, according to Marx, the productive powers of labor appear as the creative power of capital. Indeed "labor power at work" becomes a component of capital, it functions as working capital. Work becomes just work, workers become an abstract labor force, and the control over work becomes mainly a management prerogative. Although here the term is used to describe humans who act like a capital to the producers, rather than in the modern sense of "knowledge capital" endowed to or acquired by humans, it stems from Marxist ideologies.
Gary Becker is
an American Economist, was one of the first economists to branch into what were
Courtesy of Chicagobooth.edu
traditionally considered topics belonging to sociology, including
, crime, family organization, and drug addiction. He was able to convince many that individuals make choices of investing in human capital based on
and cost that include a return on investment as well as a cultural aspect. His research included the impact of positive and negative habits such as punctuality and alcoholism on human capital. He explored the different rates of return for different people and the resulting macroeconomic implications. He also distinguished between general to specific education and their influence on job-lock and promotions. Becker's book entitled Human Capital, published in 1964, became a standard reference for many years. In this view, human capital is similar to "physical means of production", e.g., factories and machines: one can invest in human capital (via education, training, medical treatment) and one's outputs depend partly on the rate of return on the human capital one owns. Thus, human capital is a means of production, into which additional investment yields additional output. Human capital is substitutable, but not transferable like land, labor, or fixed capital.
Pierre Bourdieu was a French sociologist, anthropologist, and philosopher. He extended the idea of capital into "FIELDS" such as social capital, cultural capital, economic capital and symbolic capital. He pioneered frameworks coining and intertwining cultural, social, and economic symbolic cap
Courtesy of sitemaker.umich.edu
ital. Most importantly, of Bourdieu's sociological work, was the logic of practice that emphasizes the importance of the body and practices within the social world. For Bourdieu each individual occupies a position in a multidimensional social space; he or she is not defined only by social class membership, but by every single kind of capital he or she can articulate through social relations. That capital includes the value of
, which Bourdieu showed could be used to produce or reproduce inequality. His works have been translated into two dozen languages and have had an impact on the whole gamut of disciplines in the social sciences and the humanities. Several works of his are considered classics, not only in sociology, but also in anthropology, education, and cultural studies. Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste (La Distinction) was named as one of the 20th century's ten most important works of sociology by the
International Sociological Association.
A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste: Social Capital,
he defines social capital as "the aggregate of the actual or potential resources which are linked to possession of a durable network of more or less institutionalized relationships of mutual acquaintance and recognition." His treatment of the concept is instrumental, focusing on the advantages to possessors of social capital and the “deliberate construction of sociability for the purpose of creating this resource."
Catherine Hakim's theory of
. She argu
Courtesy of Personal.Ise.ac.uk
es that erotic capital is a valuable fourth personal asset, alongside economic capital, cultural/human capital and social capital. She explains that erotic capital is increasingly important in modern societies and that women generally have more erotic capital than men because they work harder at it. She explains how sexual capital is important for social theory insofar as it is one among other types of capital, including social capital, symbolic capital, and cultural capital. Sexual capital is convertible to other forms of capital, as when actors parlay erotic capital into financial capital or social capital (e.g.
) or when attractive employees get raises and social connections from bringing in more customers by virtue of their looks.
Loic Wacquant-- "Bodily Capital" as described in (2004) "Body and Soul: Writings of an Apprentice Boxer," New York: Oxford Press
Explores ethnographically the experience of a boxer in the US. A very racially charged piece, he explores what the body needs to be capable of in order to be of ‘use’ in the boxing ring. He describes, “The body of the boxer is neither a structure in space (more muscular) nor a mechanical function (stronger)—rather, it is a practice taking place through time.” Wacquant describes bodily capital as the skills developped after months of shadow boxing, sparring, footwork, and roadwork, which transform an abstract set of principles about how to box into reﬂex-like actions. Bodily capital resides in the highly socialized but largely ineffable coordination of eye and muscle movements according to the speciﬁc rules that frame the boxing ring, wherein the body acts within the split seconds that deﬁne effective jabs, hooks, or blocks in the heat of a bout. It is as if socially regulated experience accrues in the body over time, and can be expressed almost reﬂexively in the appropriate situation. (and thus gives value to the body that has mastered that). "Bodily capital is important because it indicates the conversion of a narrow set of knowledge into practices that are relevant only in speciﬁc ﬁelds, in this case, the boxing gym and ring. Unfortunately, bodily capital will likely receive only modest attention due to Wacquant’s speciﬁc focus. He only alludes to the possible conversions of bodily capital into various forms of social and cultural capital (e.g., access to inﬂuential groups within the boxing community), and he fails to situate bodily capital within a broader sociological framework. Nevertheless, I think that bodily capital could have broad appeal in sociology, even outside of the sociology of sport. For example, bodily capital might elucidate how the skills acquired in manual labor might not be relevant for other jobs, thereby maintaining a system that inhibits career mobility. Or, bodily capital may offer insight into how men and women come to experience gender differently in ways that might shape their health behaviors. I think the concept will be quite valuable for understanding various social processes." (Krueger, SaintOnge (2005) "Boxing it out, a conversation about Body and Soul. Qualitative Sociology. 28.2").
Paradis, E. (2008) The Social Consequences of Body Capital: the Boxing Gym as Microcosm
This article was written by a PhD student using some of the frameworks laid out by Wacquant-- but she lays them out in an interesting way that might be useful for us to look at. She says that in coding her field work around body capital in womens boxing, there were three mian themes that emerged. 1) phenotypical, includes the body’s most visible and fixed characteristics (such as height, sex, phenotypic race, (dis)ability, and general appearance. 2) Embodied-- this involves things that people present, act, and 'embody' through repetition "embodied bodily traits translate into more or less capital depending on two things. On the one hand, phenotype will shape expectations: for example, a woman will be expected to be weaker than a man, and a Black person will be expected to be a better athlete. On the other hand, the context of practice will influence the value of specific embodied traits as indicators of performance." For example, a muscular body will be desirable and seen as an indicator of skill in the boxing ring, but will mean very little to a brain surgeon, andfiner dexterity is critical for brain surgeons, but wont matter to boxers. 3) Ritualized: this element of body capital comes form the accomplishment of body related rituals.
Collins, P. H.(2006). New Commodities, New Consumers: Selling Blackness in a Global Marketplace. Ethnicities. 2. 297
Patricia Hill Collins is an accomplished Black feminist thinker and with this article she seeks to situate African American youth within the framework of capital globalization. she argues that within American institutions such as the ghetto and education systems Black youth are ill prepared to enter into the traditional workforce and they are turning to thier bodies and identities as a means of generating capital. By pulling on Marxist thought, of all workers under capitalism being somewhat alienated and selling themselves to employers to generate a living wage. Collins argues, that many of these jobs Marx referred to, those that could generate a living wage, are taken by those in society with more privilege than Black youth. Therefore instead of selling the work that their bodies DO they are selling their bodies themselves. "The treatment of actual bodies as objects and subsequently as commoditieswithin consumer markets as opposed to the appropriation of the laborpower that bodies contain may be a more fundamental element of contemporarycapitalist economies than is commonly recognized" (Collins, p 8). Citing a French sociologist, Colette Guillaumin, Collins asserts that most perceptions of 'theft of labor' (i.e. Slavery) began with theft of the body. The body is the vessle that contains the labor capacity. The appropriation of womens bodies as tools for child care and men's sexual pleasure is also discussed. "New forms of commodification within
the constant pressure to expand consumer markets catalyze a new blackbody politics where social class relations rest not solely on exploiting laborpower and/or mystifying exploitation through images, but also on theappropriation of bodies themselves. Whereas young black bodies wereformerly valued for their labor power, under advanced capitalism, their utility lies elsewhere." (Collins, 8). She goes into detail discussing how thie phenomenon plays out in the prison industrial complex, consumption of body images, sex work, and hip-hop capitalism.
Foucault, Michel (2008). The Cambridge Introduction to Michel Foucault pg 78-85
-In this section of Foucaults book he talks about the body in important social institutions such as the military, operational factories, prisons etc. and how they are made to work hard with as little money as possible and as many people produced out of that product as possible. He intersects with Marxism in this section which we have already encountered in our research of the body as capitol so far. All of Foucaults work is surrounding social institutions and the power that is influenced in them and what effects that power has on society. In this section he talks about three things as important for using the body, which are (1) enclosure or confinement of the individual (2) partitioning of th person so they will not form solidarity with the others (3) functional sites, using spaces for more than one function and (4) rank having a heiarchy and placement within the system to give people a reason to want to do better. He also goes into greater detail on the soldier as capitol by discussing how earlier in history the military would look for qualities in a person such as courage, strength, etc. and how that has changed over time to know look at any person to be a soldier to build upon. Today you create the perfect solider and build it to be whatever you want as opposed to before when the soldier was to already have been born with those identities
Body and Society (2010) Gender Capital and Male Bodybuilders by Tristian S. Bridges Pages 83-108
This article takes a much different approach to how we have been defining capital but I believe that to fully understand what "body as capital" means, this definition must be looked at. Author Tristian Bridges defines capital as an identity, that body building men need the muscles to have "street cred". It also goes on to explain a more economical part of body building and some of her thoughts of how much a life of body building costs is something very interesting. "Bodybuilders are in the business of developing a ‘physical’ (Shilling 1993) or ‘bodily’ capital (Wacquant, 1995a). This is a capital that has a greater relative value within specific fields of practice but would be identified as ‘masculine’ in almost any setting. However, what that masculinity is worth varies by context. As the quote above illustrates, some bodybuilders understand their bodily capital as contextually significant in the distribution of cultural status”
Body and Society (2010) Body, Image and Affect in Consumer Culture by Mike Featherstone Pages 193-222
Article puts the focus on how body thought or image effects our economy and the consumption that takes place. Futhermore, he focues on how body can hold value when you surgically improved. The main part that I would like us to look at is how culture can increase and change body capital. He hits on how if you want to do anything, you must adhear to the way of the cultural norm.
Lt. Col. Dave Grossman On Combat :The psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society 1995
Dave Grossman is known as one of the pathfinders for the psychology of how combat affects soldier’s lives. He has a whole website at
which takes you into further depth on Grossman and all the accomplishments he has achieved. He is a Lt Colonel and he was an infantryman, army Ranger, and professor at West Point, so he is speaking on a subject he has miuh authority on.
"On Killing" goes into greater depth to get into the psychology of what soldiers go through to deprogram and desensitize them to what they will see in combat. He compares having killed someone to having sex in the way that if you have never done it you cannot talk about it as if you have. He talks about the costs and tolls that these techniques take on a soldier and when they come back on society as a whole.
Grossman is known for looking at not just the institution (like the military) but the effects they have on society as a whole. He believes that the way people are manufactured in the army has spread into society with media and video games and people are no longer able to take a step back from the desensitivity to realize what is going on.
Heidi Hartmann The Marriage Of Marxism and Feminism: Towards A More Progressive Union
Heidi Hartmann is a feminist, economist and professor that that takes special interest in researching women's bodies.
Since Marxism keeps popping up in many of my articles and what I noticed in other articles I decided to use a piece dissecting Marxism and in particular what that means to women. This article is mainly about the fundamentals of Marxist thought, but then goes on to discuss why that does not equate, as Marx originally envisioned to equality for all. This piece is helpful because it has to do with the lower class bodies as capital, which generally in the professions our group has chosen is the case, but also in particular with women’s bodies not being looked at carefully and just being forgotten because they are thrown in with Marxism.
This documentary follows the life of a pimp and shows the audience how the women prostitutes bodies are being sold and used to make capital for the men.
This a full article on the Tyra Banks clip shown above with the woman who plans on selling her virginity for over a million dollars.
This is an article on women bodybuilders and how their bodies are used more for capital and making money than anything else.
An article looking at why women get paid less to use their body in sports than men do.
- an article about the governmental valuation of an American life.
Documentation of Additional Research
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