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Title: The many faces of Botox : beauty, crisis, and cosmeceuticals in Greece
Author: Liakounakou, Alexia
ISNI:       0000 0004 9359 0424
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2020
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This thesis is a portrait of Greek society through the prism of cosmetic beauty, during the period of financial austerity following the country’s entry into a debt-restructuring programme. Based on field research carried out in privately owned cosmetic-medical spaces for fourteen months, it focuses on the consumption of cosmetic pharmaceuticals (‘cosmeceuticals’), such as Botox, fillers, and other non-surgical technologies, and examines how Greek specialists and individuals view these products within a philosophy of healing and care. In treating ‘cosmeceuticals’ as a medical field in their own right (separated from ‘cosmetic surgery’), this thesis highlights the ways in which cosmeceuticals affect the Greek women who consume them, and the kind of personalized characteristics these individuals bestow on cosmeceuticals in order to render them more familiar. These make up the ‘many faces’ of Botox, an expression that is meant to capture the range of figurative uses, associations, characterizations and properties that patients attribute to such treatments. I furthermore explore how these associations are deeply personal yet simultaneously socially potent, for they create bonds between patient, drug, and physician. As this thesis aims to contribute to the existing anthropological work on Greece through the prism of beauty, I maintain that beauty and other related concerns are meaningful matters, forming the ‘depth’ as much as the ‘surface’ of life in Greece, even during ‘austerity’.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available