Controlled Selves and Tempered Bodies

Margaret Lock

in Encounters with Aging

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 1994 | ISBN: 9780520082212
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520916623 | DOI:
Controlled Selves and Tempered Bodies

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Maturation within the social order takes priority in Japan over aging and biological change, and individuals experience and record their movement through the life cycle largely by the way their human relationships shift through time. This chapter turns to themes that appear repeatedly in fragmentary form in many of the narratives. One concerns attitudes toward time, especially in the individual life cycle and in aging, and the second, the conceptualizing, socializing, and disciplining of the human body, in particular the female body, to make it conform to Japanese society. This discussion points up the intimate relation between the meanings that women attribute to kōnenki in the narratives they create about this stage of the life cycle and the widely accepted ideology that the only suitable path to social maturity and satisfaction is through service to others.

Keywords: life cycle; aging; human body; social maturity; service to others

Chapter.  12854 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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