• Under the Knife

  • Cosmetic Surgery, Boundary Work, and the Pursuit of the Natural Fake
  • By: Samantha Kwan, Jennifer Graves
  • Narrated by: Sheri Saginor
  • Length: 7 hrs and 8 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Under the Knife  By  cover art

Under the Knife

By: Samantha Kwan,Jennifer Graves
Narrated by: Sheri Saginor
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Publisher's summary

Most women who elect to have cosmetic surgery want a “natural” outcome - a discrete alteration of the body that appears unaltered. Under the Knife examines this theme in light of a cultural paradox. Whereas women are encouraged to improve their appearance, there is also a stigma associated with those who do so via surgery.

Samantha Kwan and Jennifer Graves reveal how women negotiate their “unnatural” - but hopefully (in their view) natural-looking - surgically-altered bodies. Based on in-depth interviews with 46 women who underwent cosmetic surgery to enhance their appearance, the authors investigate motivations for surgery as well as women’s thoughts about looking natural after the procedures. Under the Knife dissects the psychological and physical strategies these women use to manage the expectations, challenges, and disappointments of cosmetic surgery while also addressing issues of agency and empowerment. It shows how different cultural intersections can produce varied goals and values around body improvement.

Under the Knife highlights the role of deep-seated yet contradictory gendered meanings about women’s bodies, passing, and boundary work. The authors also consider traditional notions of femininity and normalcy that trouble women’s struggle to preserve an authentic moral self.

The book is published by Temple University Press. The audiobook is published by University Press Audiobooks.

"Contributes to the study of boundary work and the sociology of culture and will resonate with a broad readership." (Maxine Leeds Craig, author of Sorry I Don't Dance: Why Men Refuse to Move)

"A timely, accessible, and unique intersectional analysis of cosmetic surgeries…a very strong and impressive book." Georgiann Davis, author of Contesting Intersex)

©2020 Temple University--Of the Commonwealth System of Higher Education (P)2021 Redwood Audiobooks

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