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ʼThe Moral Bath of Bodily Unconsciousnessʼ: Female Nudism, Bodily Exposure and the Gaze

. Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies 15 (3): 303-317 (July 2001)

Abstract

In the predominantly clothed societies of modernity, nakedness is an exceptional state, especially in public space, where it is, by and large, forbidden to adults—except in strictly circumscribed conditions or as a theatrical, subversive or criminal possibility. As a state often associated with childhood, it carries with it a whole metaphorical baggage around ‘innocence’, ‘nature’, and ‘freedom’ that can, in some circumstances, translate into a bodily experience of release. As Freud recognized, nakedness is one of the many freedoms relinquished as part of adulthood. Public nudity therefore has the potential to be not only abject, deviant, criminal, or transgressive, but also exhilarating. It follows, then, that any social practice which takes as its foundation this fundamentally paradoxical state—the naked body in a clothed society—will require much ideological work to sustain and regulate.

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ʼThe Moral Bath of Bodily Unconsciousnessʼ: Female Nudism, Bodily Exposure and the Gaze | Ruth Barcan - Academia.edu

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DOI:
10.1080/10304310120086795
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BibTeX key:
barcanmoral
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