Lecture Center for Global Humanities Lecture/Seminar Series
The first in-depth social investigation into the development of Botox as a phenomenon, Botox Nation is a captivating and critical story of how norms about bodies, gender and aging are constructed and reproduced on both cultural and individual levels. Berkowitz draws from engaging, in-depth interviews with Botox users and providers as well as her own experiences receiving the injections. The interviews reveal the personal motivations for using Botox and help unpack how anti-aging practices are conceived by — and resonate with — everyday people. Berkowitz is particularly interested in how Botox is now being targeted to younger women; since Botox is a procedure that must be continually administered to work, the strategic choice to market to younger women, Berkowitz argues, aims to create lifetime consumers. She employs a critical feminist lens to consider the construction of feminine bodies and selves, and explores the impact of cosmetic medical interventions aimed at maintaining the desired appearance of youth, the culture of preventative medicine, the application of medical procedures to seemingly healthy bodies, and the growth and technological advancement to the anti-aging industry.
Dana Berkowitz, Ph.D., is an associate professor of Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies at Louisiana State University. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology with a certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of Florida in 2007. She is the author of Botox Nation: Changing the Face of America (NYU Press). Her scholarship has also appeared in high-impact journals such as Journal of Marriage and Family, Qualitative Health Research, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Qualitative Sociology, and Symbolic Interaction.
Dana Berkowitz, Botox Nation: Changing the Face of America (NYU Press, 2017)