Full Text

Fetishism

Gert Hekma

Subject Sociology

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405124331.2007.x


Extract

A fetish is a more or less concrete object of sexual desire. It can be a part of the body, an object, a situation, or some abstraction. Breasts, buttocks, feet, hair, and genitals belong to the parts of the body; clothing, shoes, whips, dildos, uniforms, cars, or specific materials such as leather, silk, satin, velvet, and rubber are possible objects; situations can be cinemas, saunas, dark rooms, dinner tables, beaches, or prison cells; and more abstract examples of fetishism include youth, beauty, hospitality, power, submission, and humiliation. Ultimately, any part of the body, object, situation, or abstraction can become a fetish and, on the other hand, all sexual pleasure depends on fetishes. Naming or reading the word can be as exciting as the object to which it refers. The term fetish comes from religion studies. The Portuguese named an object of African religious veneration a feticao , an object bestowed with surplus value ( McClintock 1993 ; Nye 1993 ; Pettinger 1993 ). Karl Marx used the term in this sense for his economic theory, and in 1888 the French scholar Alfred Binet used it for the sexual theory he expounded in “Le Fétichisme dans l'amour.” In the 1880s, which saw the beginnings of sexology, Binet asked why people had obsessive desires for nightcaps or women's ponytails. According to him, the coincidental association of sexual excitement and remarking a certain ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:

 

     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.


[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top