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Welcome dear friends.In the first two modules, we have discussed game studies which is an emerging field in the broad area of cultural studies.We have looked at the ludification of culture, looked at the differences between paidia and ludus. Today, we are going to begin our discussion on body culture studies in which the dimensions of game and play are further discussed in the broader perspectives of culture and society. Body culture studies are normally considered to be a part of the popular culture studies. It describes and compares bodily practices within the larger contexts of culture and society including our study of body movements, such as dance, play, games, other outside activities, festivities, celebrations in non-professional as well as in professional situations.It is also close to the studies of gender and sexual cultures, fashion and body decoration, as well as studies related with working habits.Body and movement constitute fundamental conditions of human existence.It is pertinent to quote Eichberg here who says that body and movement can be the starting point for a new understanding of what is the material basis in social and cultural theory.So body culture studies constitute a new way of thinking in a dialectical manner.They also pave way for what may be termed as a humanistic materialism and contribute also to an inter-bodily democracy.Body culture studies also emphasize the primacy of body as the material basis of one's existence as human beings and suggest that it is only through the interaction of bodies that social practices in society have come into being.Additionally, they have also brought focus on sports as well as social times in the changing circumstances.As we have seen in our previous discussions, it is since the early 20th century that the significance of body has been discussed by several critics from different perspectives.We can refer to Noebert Elias, several critics of the Frankfurt School, Foucault and Bourdieualso. Elias had talked about the table manners and how they can be linked with experiences of shame and violence from the medieval times to early modern court society.And thereby, he had brought a discussion of bodily practices in the center of academic studies.He had also looked at critically the culture of duel in old German society and the impact of his studies can be particularly felt in the broader field of sports related studies.Several critics of Frankfurt School have also talked about the commodification of human body and simultaneously, they had also developed a sports critic in a Neo-Marxist fashion as well as certain unconventional approaches to the movement culture.Foucault's idea of ‘panoptical control’ as well as Bourdieu's concept of ‘habitus’ also influenced the studies in sports and space.Two basic facets related with body culture studies.At the same time, we find that body culture studies were also influenced by certain other developments which were taking place in the globe around 1970s and 1980s.It is during the 1980s that in Finland and Denmark, a particular school of body culture studies was started and their aim was to reassess the sports activities including play, dance and meditation.It is around this time that the term body anthropology became the keyword for Danish,German and French philosophers and they found it a particular association to study it.These critical movements were duplicated in the West also.And we find that this trend was captured by Hoberman, Guttman, Bale, Vertinsky, etc. who critically opened the disciplines of history, sociology, and geography of sports towards body culture studies.Even though we can say that primarily this trend had been started in Europe and then it was taken up by the East Asian countries.We find that in Japan various critical movements were started under the impact of these studies.The first journal of body culture was started in Chinese language in 2007.But the contribution of Western philosophers, particularly that of Hoberman is significant in this contest.So we can say that by 1970s and 1980s human body had occupied a central place as far as academic and critical interest in the area of social sciences are concerned.Bodily existence is considered to be more than just an individual body and the individual mind in the context of body culture studies.Bodily practices happened between different bodies and it is not only the individual body which is important as we have seen in the context of gender studies.But we find that in the context of body culture studies, bodily practices are interactive.This particular turn towards the analysis of body has several connotations.This explosion in body culture studies is also reflective of the virtual body craze and the body has been turned into another form of resource in a world which has been defined bay capitalist relations.So the body now becomes the site for examining and exploring new kinds of problems and conflicts under the conditions of capitalist exploitation and consumerism.Body culture studies draw upon the theoretical insights of feminism, gender, poststructuralist arguments as well as phenomenology to counter and deconstruct the assumptions of traditional positivistic understandings of bodies as rooted in the domain of biology.This shift away from the biological essentialism has led to a pluralistic understanding in which the body lies at the center of social, political and cultural analysis.We find that an emphasis on individual body leads us towards the direction of gender studies.However, when we look at the interactivity of human bodies, we move closure to body culture studies. So we find that in the domain of body culture studies, the inclusion of the body and its materiality was taken up in terms of the emotive, social and physical bodies.And it is reflective of changes in the contemporary society and cognition.Several critics associated with body culture studies view society as an extension of human body.Some of the philosophers, particularly Ulrich Beck and Anthony Giddens have concluded that the growing individualization of modernism and late modernism had replaced the earlier traditions whether they were traditions of religion or nation or class and had left ‘the individual’ alone with the body.So therefore, we find that when these traditional norms of sustenance were dissolved, then the individual was left only with the body and body thus became a sanctuary for the individual.Body culture studies have challenged this assumption.They throw light on inter-bodily relations within which the human individuality has a much more complex position.The extensions of it can be seen in their grappling with questions of health and illness, body shape and body image, the decoration of body including clothing, the tattoos, etc. And sexuality and how the awareness of societal contradictions contest industrial patriarchy. But body culture studies are not limited to only these aspects, there are much more. Eichberg has said that body is a field of dynamic human interaction of movement and that it is in movement that human subjectivity has developed through bodily dialogue with others. So it is the interactivity of bodies which is important in this field of studies. Body is neither only a substance or a materiality nor only a sign or a construction but bodily existence as movement which covers three very different dimensions of human life. And they are the bodily movement, the emotional movement and the social movement. The bodily movement can be perceived in activities like dance and sports. And in this context, we find that critics study the culture of inter-bodily situations and relations as exhibited in different societies. In terms of studying emotional movement, we find that an analysis of anger, fear, pain, and euphoria as well as other emotions is taken up and people study the psychology of social relations and interactions. In terms of social movements, we find that critics look at associations as well as formal and informal networks and organizations when human body has to interact with other bodies. So in a way we can say that bodily existence consist of bodies in plural. It is never a single body in isolation but then one has to talk of inter-bodily relations and that the human body is an inter-body. So this is the primary argument in the field of body culture studies. Body culture studies have a temporal dimension as well as a spatial dimension. Social time is related with the temporal dimension whereas social space is related with the spatial argument of it. In order to understand the concept of social time. We also have to understand that our society is characterized by speed and acceleration. In our society, particularly in the Western society, we find that different types of sports now have become a central focus. During the medieval times, a past-time used to be sprawling but now we find that the cultural past-time is either running or jogging. So the culture has given a fresh priority to speed and acceleration which is reflected in running and racing. It is also central among the phenomenon illustrating the specifically modern velocity. In this particular subsection of studies, critics compare the time dynamic movements of different ethnicities and cultures as they develop to the present day. In order to review the concept of social space, critics look at bodily movements and how these movements display and create a sense of space. Space for these critics is not only physical. It is also socio-psychical. And they look at how the changes of activities and spaces between the indoor and outdoor, specialized and non-specialized milieus can suggest different perspectives and relationships to us.In this context, we can refer to the studies based on a history of panoptical control, parcellation of sports space and hygienic purification of spaces. Another interesting subfield of study which is emerging is that of proxemics which is a study of distance and space. How through the cultivation of different zones, we can suggest a particular relationship to others in professional situations. At the same time, we can see that this concept of social space has also influenced and moulded our understanding of nature and has been a positive impact on different green movements. They also make a distinction between place and space whereas place is localized, it is rooted in geography, space is more related with a psychological and social understanding of the bodily requirements. Another word which has become significant in this context is the somatic society. Bodies are inhabited and treated differently within different social systems. And at the same time, we find that our experiences of childhood within a particular society or as a part of a culture affect our own body in regards to culture and personal modification. So the idea of somatic society is rooted in this concept and a somatic society is a society in which people have become desensitized to the entire notion of body modification as it has become so apparent in everyday life. So a society in which the notion of body modification is central to the extent that people have stopped questioning it, the easiest example is that of clothing. Because clothes are the simplest form of body modification. Interestingly, critics have referred to how different and specific situations demand different codes of dress for men and women and different patterns of clothing is preferable in different professions, particularly in older professions like law. The extremes of this direction may also cause body dysmorphia and the study of self-inflicted body modifications, vigorous exercising, tattoo, piercing, anorexia, bleaching of skin, etc.are also a part of study under the idea of somatic society. A somatic society has been defined as a society “within which major political and personal problems are both problematized within the body and expressed through it”.So we find that the political and personal problems are being problematized within the body and at the same time, people are trying to express these problems through the body only.So the body and its materiality is situated within this broad somatic framework and it determines the processes of operation and exploitative power relations which constitute the body along the axis of race, class, gender, sexuality, age and ethnicity, etc. So the body becomes the vehicle for different forms of dissent, subversion, as well as resistance to dominant images, tropes, systems of knowledge production and dissemination. Body culture also draws our attention towards studies of body as a socio-political and historical phenomenon.And these studies employ two different theoretical approaches towards the body as well as towards the relationship between the body and society. They view the body either as being a symbolic one or being as an agentic one.The idea of a symbolic body refers to the representational status of the body as being the vehicle of as well as being the vehicle for social meaning, cultural signifiers and connotative frame works.The perspective which is offered by the notion of the symbolic body is complicated with the notion of the agentic body.The idea of the agentic body suggests that the body is simply not the conduit of already existing signifiers, but it can assume the power of creating and chartering new meanings. It can also disrupt accepted forms of being by actively participating in the social world as our bodies mediate our relationships with the world. So consequently, questions of physical appearance, mental and physical health, illness, and hygiene dominate the discourse around bodies which reflects the changes brought about by capitalist ethos. The culture of consumerism and commodification extends to the commodification of bodies. Fashionable body discourses revolve around discourses of body beautiful, what particular type of image of a body and what particular type of shape of a body is desirable in this context. It also incorporates a discourse around fashionable clothing trends as well as the cosmetic industry. Another aspect in which it is interested is sexuality. The exploration of societal contradictions and constructivism that determines the category of normal as well as what the society defines to be abnormal sexuality and abnormal sexual desires.It is in this context that we look at the representation of bodies and the representation of the bodies of women in media. In the media, we find that women are normally portrayed in domestic or decorative roles. An objectification of young women as well as dehumanization of the female body by men is normally projected and the primary purpose is to seek the male attention and to enhance sales of certain products.But at the same time we find that the psychological implications of this media representation are often overlooked .It may also cause certain men to feel entitled to seeing the bodies of women in a particular manner also including the bodies of young teen and adolescent girls. At the same time on the part of young women, we find that there may be a normalization of acceptance of a certain type of behaviour. So we find that the media representations affect the psyche of men as well as the psyche of women.A 2008 study of female leads in films found that nearly all female characters were valued primarily for their appearance. And also there are very few films and TV shows which are centered on female characters and their pride. Women characters are focused primarily on winning the love of a male hero, projecting that this perhaps should be the main occupation of a women. In the projection of masculinities, we find that normally it is the hegemonic masculinity which is projected by the media. It suggests that it is not only the women who are being marginalized in the media but that men are also being marginalized and toxic images and conventions regarding different types of masculinities also get normalized through these projections. This particular representation of the issues related with the LGBT in media also suggests how the disparaging treatment of queer and transgender in media abets not only the violence but also a certain tolerance of this violence. The economics of media industry as well as gender stereotyping remain to be strong. Mass media ultimately is a big business. And then according to the American motion picture association, Hollywood films rate in 10 billion dollars in 2011.If we look at the marketings of TV, News, Magazines, Social Media, Internet, Video Games, as well as the pornography business, we find that these are filled with stereotypical images of men and women, particularly the stereotypical images of women and sexual minorities. Media executives suggest that the economics of the industry makes it impossible to avoid the stereotypes of women as well as other sexual minorities. And it is normally agreed upon that the media content is driven by advertising and they want to target the most desirable component of the audience that is men between the age group of 18 to 34.That is men who are earning some steady income and are willing to spend it also. Professor Martha Lauzen of San Diego State University has commented how the TV shows which are based on female protagonist are normally not given the prime time. They are slotted at ‘lousy’ hours so that the majority is unable to look at them. It can of course be argued that most of the TV writers and producers happen to be men. And therefore, most of their decisions are in favour of men. At the same time, it has also been seen that whenever women are in an influential position behind the screen, the presence of women on screen also becomes different. When at least one writer on a film is a women, the number of female characters also rises from 30% to 40%.However, there is a dearth of female producers and directors in Media industries and female writers and producers and directors are not also seen as bankable ones. And here we also have to look at the effects of the traditional forms of glass ceiling. A particular topic which we would touch upon in our next module. In TV particularly, because of the more collaborative “writers’ room” approach which is taken in TV schedules, the presence of women in the writing staff has a much smaller effect, raising the number of female characters from 39% to 43%.At the same time, we can say that there is a hyper-sexualized portrayal of women as far as their representation in mass media is concerned. Their representation in television, film and advertisement is normally meant to increase the appeal of a media or a particular product, of course to the detriment of the interest of a women who is being portrayed. In these hyper-sexualized portrayals, we find that the desire for a particular product is mapped on to female bodies. It also enhances unrealistic expectations of men as far as the looks and appearances of women are concerned.The stereotyping in media is seen normally in different other aspects of our day to day lives. For example, the popularity of the themes of dumb blond or bimbo, etc. is reflected in our day to day dialogue also. It limits societal and career opportunities for those people who do not fit these media stereo types.These media images which trivialize sexual exploitation and therefore, present it as being more and more acceptable, does have a detrimental impact on the psyche of people. In Bollywood films, we often see that sexual harassment is often portrayed as a particular type of courtship or as a wooing procedure. And portrayal of degradation of women is often given as being humorous. The images of sexual violence are also projected in such a manner that it may contribute indirectly to the prevalence of a rape culture.Sexual violence and exploitation against women is rarely addressed in a serious professional manner in our society and it is reflected in our media representations also.A particularly negative aspect of this media portrayal of women is that it goats women to turn towards self-objectification.It may be argued that the overrepresentation of a particular image of a women body reinforces the notion that in order to be treated as being ‘physically attractive’ or ‘sexually desirable’, they have to conform to a particular body size.The stress of a zero size figure on women can be quoted in this context.Often we find that women have to struggle with this traditional conflict between beauty and the brain.So even highly talented and careeristic girls can be self-conscious about their appearance because of the social pressures.It also results in a negative bodily surveillance when women habitually monitor their own bodies, external appearance and spend significant amounts of attention to how their body maybe perceived by others.These unhealthy body images leave their impact on a women's psyche and it also affects the interpersonal relationships and of what type of a tolerance can be indicated by a person towards a person of another gender.A study of women's magazines covers reveals that messages about weight loss are often placed next to messages about men and relationships.So the idea that only a particular body type would be able to be successful in relationships with men is passed on to most of the readers.Many studies have also shown that exploitation of women in media has a negative impact on the mental health of women.The pressure which is put on women through different ads, television, films and new media to be sexually attractive is profound.And research has found that their representation in popular media has steadily become more and more sexualized over the passage of years.We can also refer to the advertisements on and about plastic surgery.So we can say that there is relationship between self-objectification and depression.Research indicates that the mixed messages from media make it difficult for girls to negotiate their transition to adulthood.Their confidence frequently drops in the pre-teen years as they begin to base their feelings of self-worth more and more heavily on their appearance and weight.So we find that for young girls, it becomes a struggle to maintain a particular body image and a particular body shape which is more acceptable in the society and therefore, their years which are crucial for value addition to their personality are lost.This loss of self-esteem and confidence can also negatively impact their academics and can also mar their career development and growth.Advertisements also disseminate unhealthy notions by linking physical beauty and a particular skin tone with success.And therefore, we find that most of the advertisements which are based on this concept of fairness can be put under this category.Recently the studies have also focused on women growing older particularly in the context of Western societies.It has been observed that the exploitation of a young attractive women in the media causes aging women to feel anger, disillusionment about their own choices, a concern, a fear of being marginalized as well as discomfort about their appearance.Whereas they are not being judged on the basis of their other achievements.So the body becomes the only way of looking at a women and judging her.It generates a certain anxiety as well as a sense of being powerless in a women.So they are afraid of critique, they are afraid of censure.They fear rejection and ultimately it influences their self-esteem and confidence.Once a women starts to self-objectifying and compares her body to others, it can impede a holistic human functioning.At the same time, because the woman does not know when and where she would be encountering objectification, it impairs her ability in forming meaningful interpersonal relationships as she grows up.The common stereotypes which circulate the media are known to us, the femme fatale, supermom, the helpless dame, the nasty corporate climber.Whatever the role, we find that television, film and popular magazines are full of images of those women and girls who are fair, desperately thin and made up to the hilt even after slaying a gang of vampires.So women's bodies are sexualized in advertisements in order to grab the viewer's attention.So women are treated as objects rather than whole human being.Even though the sexuality of a women is not a taboo anymore, many researchers question whether or not the blatant sexualisation of women's bodies in media is actually liberating to them.A study which has been taken up by Gotz identifies a number of sexual media stereotypes which are found around the world.And these stereotypes are of girls and women who are motivated by love and romance instead of careeristic ambitions.And at the same time, the stereotypical women appears less independent in comparison to a body.Magazines which are published for girls are perhaps the only medium where girls are overrepresented.However, the content of these magazines is overwhelmingly focused on topics such as dating, appearance, fashion, and cooking.Career options are not discussed in detail and financial management is practically absent as if they want to suggest that the primary concern of a women is to make herself attractive and somehow to satisfy men.The presence of misinformation, the absence of meaningful information and media stereotypes are disturbing.And this disturbance is further validated because often young people turn to media for information about sex and sexuality.Many people also agree that certain strides have been made in how the media portrays women in film, television and magazines and in the last few decades, there has been a growth in the presence and influence of women in media on screen and off screen and behind the screen also.Nevertheless, we find that this stereotypes we have discussed continue to thrive in the media we consume on a daily basis.The skewed representation of feminine images is particularly seen in the representation of female professionals in different types of media.Sports is emerging as an exception but whereas other professionals are concerned, they normally remain to be underrepresented.Even though in the last 20 years or so, there has been a steady increase in the number of women professionals in the world.Despite it we find that most main stream press coverage continue to rely on men as experts in the field of business, politics and economics particularly.The presence of women in these fields which are normally considered to be male dominated are questioned and their credentials are often considered to be suspect.So there is a sexist treatment of female professionals in social media related activities and in conferences, in panels, in TV debates, the representation of women is at best a token one. Women in the news are more likely to be featured in stories about accidents, natural disasters, domestic violence or low key achievements.Whereas the exceptional professional abilities or expertise is normally shown in the context of male achievers only.Similarly, the role and contribution of women in politics is often sidelined.There is an excessive scrutiny over the choice of their attire rather than their politics.And there is a sexualization or demonization of female political leaders.It is interesting to refer to a particular finding which has been finalized by Jenn Goddu,a Canadian journalist.She had studied newspaper and magazine coverage of 3 women's lobby groups over a 15-year period.She discovered that journalists tend to focus on the domestic aspects of the politically active women's life rather than her position on the issues.They may prefer to talk about her personal choices in attire, other personal habits instead of focussing on direct impact of the policies.It was also observed that women's views were solicited mainly in the frameworks of average citizens and rarely as experts and that political and economic success stories were overwhelmingly masculine.In 2006, AFJ, The Association of Women Journalists, studied news coverage of women and women's issues in as many as 70 different countries and it reported that only 17% of the stories quote women, that 1 in 14 women were presented as a victim compared to 1 in 21 men.And 1 in 5 women was shown in the context of her family compared to 1 in 16 men.So we find that the focus is still on slotting a women within the context of her traditional role.In addition to being underrepresented, we find that women are also equally misrepresented in media.It can be seen in the hypersexualization of very young girls, most notably in the field of fashion and advertising which remains to be a disturbing trend.And these stereotypes makeup most of the representations where girls and women are seen in media.The hypersexualization in fashion industry as well as in media advertisements is another issue which we can take up in this context.The pressures on girls are exacerbated by media's increasing tendency to portray young girls in ways which essentially are sexual.The fashion industry as well as the reality shows which are aired in popular time are major drivers for this trend.They commonly represent images of young teenage girls as if they are already fully matured.They are dressed as mature women.They have similar type of distressed facial vocabulary and they also try to imitate those vulnerable poses of mature women which are common in pornographic media.Camera angles which are deliberately used in this context also highlight the susceptibility of young girls.So media representation does not valorize women.We find that media portrays and propagates conventional structures of power and gender hierarchies.It is perceptible in media and it is also perceptible in those publications and programs which are targeting very young children.This aspect we would discuss in our next module.Thank you.