Roberta Spano

Hairy orders: Human hair and orders


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This article delivers an overview of cultural studies perspectives on human hair. The central thesis is that human hair is of great importance for the making and maintenance of social orders – especially regarding gender. It will be shown which research has already been generated in this field and where further research, respectively, societal debates can be initiated. Historical abstracts are used to illustrate the discourses in which hair has been discussed and that these discourses are often still dominant. In addition, current debates on hair in the media will be discussed and it will be argued that precisely because of the great interest in the subject its examination through cultural studies is indispensable.

hair, body hair, hirsute, gender, discourse power, scientific history, cultural studies