Publication Details

Bradley-Munn, S. R. & Michael, K. (2016). Whose body is it? the body as physical capital in a techno-society. IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine, 5 (3), 107-114.


In today's postmodern Western world, there is a greater propensity toward consumerism. Mass-market production coupled with international trade means that you can buy just about anything made anywhere with the simple click of a mouse. Not only are we seeing the commoditization of things (i.e., material objects), but also businesses and industries are capitalizing on this consumerist mentality, studying individuals? buying habits to demographically target their market. This data mining is done through a multiplicity of ways, such as through technological monitors called sensors. Sensors capture humancentric data at discrete intervals, generating big data that draws out patterns. Behavior can actually be seen as a type of commoditization, not of the product or service but rather of the consumers themselves. And yet, despite these trends toward mass consumption of material goods and monitoring consumer behavior, sociologists are grappling with how Western civility is radically turning from the accumulation of external commodities, such as goods and services, to viewing one's own body as a form of human capital-to utilize as an outer expression of the self-whether in part or in whole.



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