International Conference on beauty, beautification and social change in transnational East Asia
Attractiveness as indispensible requirement in professional life and the boom of cosmetic surgery in Korea, conspicuous consumption and the construction of "baifumei" – the rich white beauty - in China and the dilemma of Japanese youth between subculture aesthetics and social norms – the phenomena of growing importance of body norms and beauty standards in East Asia are widely discussed. The conference brings together international experts in the field of social and cultural sciences to analyze in a comparative setting the processes and mechanisms of how social change is embodied through new beauty ideals in China, Korea and Japan. The significance of an attractive appearance and practices of self-improvement in East Asia cannot be understood without considering recent socioeconomic developments as the consequence of the economic and social modernization process, such as the influence of a consumer culture, social distinction and redistribution battles as well as individual neoliberal strategies in dealing with system risks and new uncertainties. How are systemic and structural changes implemented on the micro level of body culture? How are global trends adopted in specific cultural ways? How do the concept and practices of body and beauty work correlate with the principles of a reflexive modernity? The conference's contributions deal with these issues and stimulate discussions about a “world culture of beauty” and indigenous preconditions in a transnational array.
26.11.2016 - 27.11.2016
Freie Universität Berlin