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Hair: Its Power and Meaning in Asian Cultures
By Alf Hiltebeitel (editor), Barbara D. Miller (editor) and Gananath Obeyesekere (foreword by)
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Bibliographic Detail
Publisher State Univ of New York Pr
Publication date May 1, 1998
Pages 297
Binding Paperback
Book category Adult Non-Fiction
ISBN-13 9780791437421
ISBN-10 0791437426
Dimensions 1 by 6 by 9.50 in.
Original list price $31.95
Other format details university press
Summaries and Reviews
Amazon.com description: Product Description: An interdisciplinary exploration of the meanings of hair in Asia from classical times to contemporary contexts.

Hair--whether present or absent, restored or removed, abundant or scarce, long or short, bound or unbound, colored or natural--marks a person as clearly as speech, clothing, and smell. It defines a person's gender, sexual availability and desirability, age, social status, and even political stance. It may also act as a basis for discrimination in treatment by others. While hair's high salience as both sign and symbol extends cross-culturally through time, its denotations are far from universal. Hair is an interdisciplinary look at the meanings of hair, hairiness, and hairlessness in Asian cultures, from classical to contemporary contexts.

The contributors draw on a variety of literary, archaeological, religious, and ethnographic evidence. They examine scientific, medical, political, and popular cultural discourses. Topics covered include monastic communities and communities of fashion, hair codes and social conventions of rank, attitudes of enforcement and rebellion, and positions of privilege and destitution. Different interpretations include hair as a key aspect of female beauty, of virility, as obscene, as impure, and linked with other symbolic markers in bodily, social, political, and cosmological constructs.

"The topic of hair is significant, because it is a universally accessible point of entry into entire cultural systems. It is a wonderful way to get readers to think about themselves participating in a cultural system by merely turning disciplined attention to the everyday matter of what they do with their own hair. I like the book's rich and concrete detail regarding views of hair in various Asian cultures, and the differing attempts by the authors to understand those views. The authors provide a great deal of insight and unexpected ramifications in their chapters and their bibliographies are superb resources." -- D. Dennis Hudson, Smith College

Editions
Hardcover
Book cover for 9780791437414
 
from State Univ of New York Pr (May 1, 1998)
9780791437414 | details & prices | 297 pages | 6.25 × 9.50 × 1.00 in. | 1.30 lbs | List price $55.50
About: An interdisciplinary exploration of the meanings of hair in Asia from classical times to contemporary contexts.
Paperback
Book cover for 9780791437421
 
The price comparison is for this edition
from State Univ of New York Pr (May 1, 1998)
9780791437421 | details & prices | 297 pages | 6.00 × 9.50 × 1.00 in. | 0.95 lbs | List price $31.95
About: An interdisciplinary exploration of the meanings of hair in Asia from classical times to contemporary contexts.

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