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Type: Journal article
Title: Citizen bodies: is embodied citizenship a contradiction in terms?
Author: Bacchi, C.
Beasley, C.
Citation: Critical Social Policy, 2002; 22(2):324-352
Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.
Issue Date: 2002
ISSN: 0261-0183
Statement of
Carol Lee Bacchi and Chris Beasley
Abstract: In this article, we draw connections between notions of embodiment and conceptions of citizenship to provide insights into contemporary debates about desirable modes of governance. We suggest that there is a need to challenge the instrumental conception of bodies which informs much public policy (our examples are New Reproductive Technologies and cosmetic surgery in Australia), and which underlies much citizenship theory, both feminist and mainstream. We identify a demarcation in our selected policies between those presumed to have control over their bodies and those presumed to be controlled by their bodies. The former are designated 'autonomous citizens' (with autonomous meaning distance from government oversight), while the latter are constituted as lesser citizens in need of forms of control. Women appear on both sides of the dichotomy, but in ways which leave them invisible as political subjects. We coin the term 'social flesh' to capture a vision of interacting, material, embodied subjects and initiate consideration of the forms of governance that might be appropriate for embodied citizens.
Keywords: Cosmetic surgery; feminism; new reproductive technologies
Description: Copyright © 2002 Critical Social Policy
RMID: 0020022142
DOI: 10.1177/02610183020220020801
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Appears in Collections:Politics publications

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