The Body, Cosmetic Surgery and the Discourse of Westernization of Korean Bodies

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review


This chapter discusses some of the key meanings attached to aesthetic surgical practice and other biomedical technologies of the body that influence attitudes and uptake of cosmetic surgery practices in South Korea. Taking body as a lens through which to illustrate how individuals relate to and experience their subjectivities through the body, it seeks to question the notion that the high uptake of cosmetic surgery can be explained in reference to nebulous concepts such as collectivism, or desires for Westernizing the body, as key motivations in decision-making. This chapter locates the high uptake of cosmetic procedures in the intersection of individual desire, culturally contingent social etiquette, and the growth of the aesthetic plastic surgery industries to illustrate some of the key discourses that inform individuals’ decisions about how bodies are performed, managed, and experienced in South Korea.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Beauty Politics
EditorsMaxine Craig
Place of PublicationLondon
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-429-28373-4
ISBN (Print)978-0-367-24657-0, 978-1-032-04331-9
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Jul 2021


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