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June 3, 2008

4

Hair religion: the last resort for the confused (or the balding)?

by quaesitor

One of the best books on modern, western cultural trends that I’ve ever read is David Lyon’s introduction simply called POSTMODERNITY. It’s now on its 2nd edition and has almost doubled in size. But it is brilliantly lucid and accessible, with plenty of worked examples and illustrations. If someone is wanting to find out more about all this PoMo stuff, then this is the first place I send them, despite it being a 1st year primer text book published by the Open University. What I love is that he actually only reveals his position on the very last page (or at least that’s how he did it in the first edition), but up until that point, is providing as objective a survey as he can muster. Fantastic stuff.

Here is one gem from it, that suddenly sprang to mind as I was walking home from a meeting, passing an upmarket hair salon (are there any down-market hair salons in Marylebone?). People’s religion is now shopping, because they no longer trust the institutions and ideologies that have, for example, torn Europe apart over the last 500 years (eg Catholicism, Protestantism, Atheism Imperialism, Marxism, Fascism etc). So what do we have left? Well as Lyon sums it up:

The collapse of ideology leaves us with ‘consumer clusters of taste and fashion’

And almost too good to be true, here is the logical extension of that: hair religion…

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Brieanne
    Jun 3 2008

    Hey Mark, I attend all souls and drop by the blog every so often….

    what is an interesting connection is that – I actually know David Lyon. I’ve even gone to church with the man! I did my undergrad at Queen’s University, in Kingston Ontario (where he is on faculty in the dept of sociology) before finding myself in London. In fact a close friend of mine did his studied under David.
    David does a lot of work now on the sociology of surveillance. http://www.surveillanceproject.org/

    Great posting on post-mod stuff!

    Reply
  2. Brieanne
    Jun 3 2008

    that should have read:

    A close friend of mine did his PhD under David.

    Reply
  3. Jun 3 2008

    Small world – great to hear from you Brieanne – come and say hello on Sunday…!

    Reply
  4. Jun 25 2008

    It’s all very frustrating – this religion changes its mind all the time. E.g. almost became a convert at the altar of hair straighteners, until curls came back.

    God is the best!

    Reply

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