The Body Worlds

Throughout history the body and death have provided a source of spectacle, curiosity and entertainment. Examples include the Roman Gladiatorial games, public executions of criminals from the medieval period to the last century with notorious sites such as Tyburn prison incorporating special grandstands for enhanced viewing, guided tours of morgues during the Victorian period (Stone, 2006) to contemporary exhibitions of plastinated bodies such as Von Hagen’s ‘Body Worlds’ which forms the basis for our analysis. We focus on the commodified body and examine how, post death, it is interpreted and consumed. We suggest that there are multiple levels of meanings derived from the experience including spectacle, dehumanization, mortality salience, and repulsion and fascination.


Michael Saren and Christina Goulding (2011) ,"The Body Worlds", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9, eds. Alan Bradshaw, Chris Hackley, and Pauline Maclaran, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 40-41.


Michael Saren, University of Leicester, UK
Christina Goulding , University of Wolverhampton, UK


E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9 | 2011

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