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Title: Piercing the skin/screen/mirror : a psychoanalytic investigation of the representation of body modification in contemporary television series
Author: Erdem, Tuna
ISNI:       0000 0001 3448 6385
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2008
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The last twenty years have been witness to two, ostensibly unrelated, phenomenon: the increase, on the one hand, of body modification practices, like tattooing, piercing plastic surgery and gender reassignment surgery, and on the other, the rise of `quality' television series. This work investigates whether the interest in body modification is reflected in television series, how body modification practices are represented in these texts and the possible connections between the skin and the screen. For this purpose the seven seasons of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the relevant episodes of the series Angel, Six Feet Under, Nip/Tuck and The L Word, have been analysed. Psychoanalysis is employed both as a tool to explicate the dynamics behind the contemporary urge to modify bodies and as a method of textual analysis of the said series. Lacan's theory of `the mirror stage' and Anzieu's theory of `the skin-ego' are the basis of this approach, although Kleinian object relation theories and Freud's theories on the death drive, fetishism and perversion, have also been used when necessary. Since, the gendered body is of utmost importance to this investigation, feminist film theories and queer theory has also played a significant part. The investigation shows that television series represent the psychic dynamics behind body modification in all their complexity. Whenever body modification becomes a theme in the narrative or is underlined as a visual motive in the narration, problems of the split-ego and the gendered body, come to the forefront.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available