Aesthetic surgery has been the subject of significant sociological research, primarily concerning women and the debates that surround their bodies. These discussions have centered around the stereotyping of women’s bodies, resulting in a specific type of femininity construction (Franco 2008; Jones 2006), or the empowerment of women for health reasons through non-essential/optional procedures (Heggenstaller et al. 2018). Edmonds (2009) notes that aesthetic surgical procedures have an aspect of Human Enhancement (HE) (Şahinol 2016) and go beyond mere consumption, aiming for mental and sexual well-being, such as enhancing sexual attractiveness.
In recent years, biomedicalization processes have extended to male bodies through HE Technologies, resulting in a growing demand for interventions in men’s hair and body hair. Aesthetic surgical procedures and minimally invasive procedures, such as hair transplantation and laser hair removal, respectively, have become popular among men (American Society of Plastic Surgeons). This situation highlights the need for research on interventions in men’s hair and body hair.
This article is based on a qualitative research study conducted between March and July 2020, which focused on medical (non-surgical) interventions in men’s hair and body hair. The study aims to contribute to critical posthuman literature by exploring the reconstruction of the posthuman male body through hair transplantation technology. The study also seeks to discuss the liberating possibilities and limiting aspects of the posthuman male body that emerges around these interventions.
Therefore, the primary research question of this article (turkish) is how the posthuman male body is reconstructed with hair transplantation technology, and what are the implications for the posthuman male body’s liberating possibilities and limiting aspects. The article concludes by highlighting the contribution of the study to critical posthuman literature and suggesting avenues for future research.
Excerpt from the text:
In order to understand post-human masculinity, we emphasize the importance of considering the combination of body and technology, such as self-care, as a socio-bio-technical care complex (Şahinol and Başkavak 2021). Additionally, it is important to look at socio-technical elements such as health policies in order to gain a holistic perspective. Such an approach considers the post-human body as a “socio-bio-technical process” and provides an analytical framework for discussing how the body is shaped both on a micro and macro level (Şahinol). The political elements that make up the macro level, such as health policies, are a product of a collective imagination about social life and order specific to each country, which Jasanoff and Kim define as “socio-technical imaginaries” (Jasanoff and Kim 2009). Through this concept, we can discuss how health policies and ultimately the body are shaped by country-specific visions. Therefore, in order to think more deeply about health governance, it is appropriate to expand the concept of socio-technical imaginaries to include the “bio” aspect, based on Şahinol’s concept of socio-bio-technical processes, and to define free medicine zones as socio-bio-technical institutions that include all the social values, technological opportunities, and practices of the relevant community or belief groups (Aydın 2020).
In summary, this article focuses on the biomedication processes in Turkey and Iran and the emergence of post-human masculinity through hair and body hair technologies, and emphasizes the importance of evaluating them in terms of socio-technical imaginaries, which are important components of the healthy society desires of these countries. Since conducting research that covers the individual histories of millions of men and trillions of hair follicles in Turkey and Iran is not possible, and taking the idea of representation that is impossible according to the new materialist framework that considers matter as an agent that creates, transforms and is transformed, this article takes the body as a geography (Holton 2020) and prefers “cartography instead of classification” (Tuin and Dolphijn 2012, 111).
Şahinol, M., & Taşdizen, B. (2022). İnsan Sonrası Erkek(lik): Saç Ekimi Örneği. In S. Buran & P. Kumbet (Eds.), Çokludisiplinlerde Posthümanizm (pp. 443-456). London, UK: Transnational Press London.