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Hair (Object Lessons)


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Table of Contents

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

Promotional Information

About how the manipulation of human hair holds fascinating symbolic meanings and provokes profound visceral impacts in all cultures of the world.

About the Author

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.


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 *
Hair is a hilarious, informative, and provocative look at the significance of hair in human culture. Part of Bloomsbury Academic's Object Lessons, "a book series about the hidden lives of ordinary things," this short volume considers the biology, removal, styling, and fetishizing of hair as practiced by people around the world. It discusses the variety of religious reasons, and methods, for depilation and for hair cultivation. Scott Lowe was the perfect author for such a book, writing in his characteristic wit. ... This book would make an excellent addition to a course on material religion. * Nova Religio *
An informative, often hair-raising (excuse the pun) journey about how the great religions of today as well as those that have faded away, or cultures, modern and old, have dealt with hair, or lack or length or style of it, both as a unifying, defining symbol as well as differentiating one, or of conformity. But Lowe, who tempers his insights with wit, is always respectful and non-judgmental ... Above all, Lowe's is a sobering account of how we can use something we have no control over naturally but can only manipulate to so many purposes. * BDC News *

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