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Swarthmore College    
College Bulletin - Course Catalog 
  Jan 17, 2018
College Bulletin - Course Catalog

ANTH 049B. Comparative Perspectives on the Body

This class explores how different societies regulate, discipline, and shape the human body. In the first part, we examine theories of the body and how they have evolved over time. In the second part, we focus on in-depth ethnographic cases and compare diverse cultural practices that range from the seemingly traditional practices, such as circumcision, foot binding, and veiling to the currently fashionable, such as piercing, tattooing, dieting, and plastic surgery. By comparing body modification through space and time, we ask questions such as: Is contemporary anorexia similar to wearing the corset during the 19th century? Is female circumcision different from breast implants? Furthermore, we investigate how embodiment shapes personal and collective identities (especially gender identities) and vice versa.
Social sciences.
1 credit.
Eligible for GSST INTP
Spring 2019. Ghannam.
Catalog chapter: Sociology and Anthropology  
Department website:

Check the Fall 2017 Schedule of Courses

Check the Spring 2018 Schedule of Courses