As part of constellation, referencing and academic readings are crucial to our essays, so Ashley told us a really useful technique on how to read academic theories as sometimes it is daunting when you choose a book from a library and you’re not quite sure where to start. So being told to use the index and search for the key word you’re using to then find the page number was extremely helpful.

I chose to look at Body Modification, edited by Mike Featherstone. My final essay idea is going to be about modifying the body, looking into piercings, tattoos and other ways of changing appearance through going under the needle. I thought this was a great way to succeed in constellation as it’s something I find interesting.

So looking at the first page where piercings are mentioned in the book and it’s titled:

‘Modern Primitivism’:
Non-mainstream Body Modification and Racialized Representation’
Christian Klesse

My understanding of this was very narrow so I googled what ‘Modern primitive’ was as I hadn’t heard of that term before. The google definition is below:

(Modern primitives or urban primitives are people in developed and culturally altered post-colonial nations who engage in body modification rituals and practices while making reference or homage to the rite of passage practices in “primitive cultures”).

This was useful to look into and helpful to know as I gained a better understanding and maybe use that phrase in my upcoming essay.

Introduction: Marking the Body and Marking the Problem.

(Mascia-Lees and Sharpe, 1992; Rubin, 1988; Sanders, 1989) imply that the development of style in western societies has a growing appearance of highly visible modifications on the body which are looked at as ‘practices’. (p.15)

‘tattooing, multiple piercing, branding, cutting, and scarification are some of the more radical, permanent non-mainstream body modifications in this context’ (Myres, 1992).
The use of the word ‘radical’ suggests that all those listed are seen as violent and not very popular compared to other ways you can modify your body, such as Body Play by Fire which is the people who sun tan as a way of modiying their bodies in a subtle way in comparision to scarification.

‘Modern Primitives’ are said to be for the people who ‘repond to primal urges’ to do ‘something’ with their bodies (Fakir Musafar, 1989:13) which could suggest that it’s for those who are more daring than some and have let loose.

Fakir Musafar was the creator of the interesting term ‘Body Play’ for the modern primitive practise.

Musafar also interpets his practise as ‘worship through the body’ which suggests that it’s something positive about exploring ones self through the ways of modyifying the body. and that you’re exploring your ‘spirituality’.

I’ve only read the first few pages on piercings and I can’t believe I didn’t find this book before when I had to hand my essay in for formative. I had a tutorial with Ashley and my first steps are to read up on piercings, get a few academcis point of view on them, think of a question and also book an appointment to see an academic librarian to help me find good journal and useful resources on MetSearch.



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