Hair (Object Lessons)

Author(s): Scott Lowe

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Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things. Hair, a primary marker of our mammalian nature, is an extraordinary indicator of economic and social standing, political orientation, religious affiliation, marital status, and cultural leanings, among other things. The meanings of hair are deep, powerful, and so strongly embedded in cultural conditioning that they are usually understood unconsciously (and all the more strongly for that). In untangling its myriad meanings, Scott Lowe reveals just how little we control our hair, no matter the style: each and every passer-by decides on its significance anew. From Hittites to hippies and Pentecostals to porn stars, Hair combs through a ubiquitous personal yet public object, a charged and carefully managed dead thing. Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in The Atlantic.


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About how the manipulation of human hair holds fascinating symbolic meanings and provokes profound visceral impacts in all cultures of the world.

Scott Lowe is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Religious Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, USA. He is Co-General Editor of Nova Religio.

I. Introduction II. Biology of Hair III. Responses to It Removal Covered Uncut Manipulated Magical Hair Cutting as Civilization, Control, and Marker of Domination Hair and Mourning IV. Conclusions: What Does It All Mean? Index

General Fields

  • : 9781628922868
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : Bloomsbury Academic USA
  • : 0.145
  • : July 2016
  • : 165mm X 120mm X 15mm
  • : United States
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Scott Lowe
  • : Paperback
  • : 391.5
  • : 152