Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things.
Hair, a primary marker of our mammalian nature, is an extraordinary indicator of economic and social standing, political orientation, religious affiliation, marital status, and cultural leanings, among other things. The meanings of hair are deep, powerful, and so strongly embedded in cultural conditioning that they are usually understood unconsciously (and all the more strongly for that).
In untangling its myriad meanings, Scott Lowe reveals just how little we control our hair, no matter the style: each and every passer-by decides on its significance anew. From Hittites to hippies and Pentecostals to porn stars, Hair combs through a ubiquitous personal yet public object, a charged and carefully managed dead thing.
Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in The Atlantic.
Country of Publication:
Series: Object Lessons
01 August 2016
Professional and scholarly
I. Introduction II. Biology of Hair III. Responses to It Removal Covered Uncut Manipulated Magical Hair Cutting as Civilization, Control, and Marker of Domination Hair and Mourning IV. Conclusions: What Does It All Mean? Index
Scott Lowe is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Religious Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, USA. He is Co-General Editor of Nova Religio.
Reviews for Hair
The profundity of Hair is intertwined with its sheer simplicity. Scott Lowe has deconstructed a subject that defies deconstruction. This is a global, biological, socio-cultural consideration of a reality we all intuitively understand, yet rarely admit: Haircuts explain people. Which could come across as pedantic, were it not for the fact that Lowe is also effortlessly funny. Unless you're a barber, this is the only book on hair you need to read. Chuck Klosterman, author of Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs