2011. Aesthetic Surgery and Social Change in South Korea. Korean Cultural Anthropology, 44/2: 359-389.

The intention of this paper is to set out some possible research directions for an ethnographic study of aesthetic surgery in South Korea. To do this, I advance an initial hypothesis: that changes on the body somehow reflect the broader social changes occurring in South Korean society. Does the relative popularity of aesthetic surgery amongst South Korean women reveal an “ideology of the possible“, in which anything and everything is subject to change, renewal, amelioration? What is the nature and significance of such an ideology, and what are the implications for the way women view and manage their bodies?


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