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Saving Face

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Introduction 1 About Face 2 Facial Work: Aesthetic Surgery as Lifesaving Work 3 Making Faces: Life Makeovers through Facial Work 4 Not Just Another Pretty Face: The Social Value of Unremarkability 5 Saving Face: Redeeming a Universal Face 6 Facing Off: Debating Facial Work, Constructing a "Vital" Intervention 7 At Face Value Losing Face: A Postscript Appendix: Methods, Methodologies, and Epistemologies Notes References IndexAbout the Author

About the Author

Heather Laine Talley is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Western Carolina University. More about her writing and work can be found at


"Saving Face offers a persuasive and sociologically rich portrayal of facial disfigurement. Beauty culture depends more upon the 'normal' and unremarkable - rather than the exceptional - face than is usually acknowledged, and Talley offers a fascinating account of how unremarkability is medically, culturally and socially produced. The ethics and politics of reconstructive surgery are not straightforward; Talley gives the subject an admirably nuanced and sensitive treatment."-Victoria Pitts-Taylor,author of Surgery Junkies: Wellness and Pathology in Cosmetic Culture "Talleyhas a talent for moving between sound empirical findings and subtle theoreticalconceptions of the meaning of having at least a normal if not actuallybeautiful face in contemporary society. Particularly outstanding about theauthor's work is her insistence on analyzing the meaning of being ugly in asociety that valorizes the value of being beautiful."-Rosemarie Tong,author of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics: Theoretical Reflections and Practical Applications

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