A Social History of the Corset, Tight Lacing and Other Forms of Body Sculpture in the West.
Is the use of the corset sexually repressive or sexually expressive? Is it a matter of men forcing women's bodies into the shapes that their fantasies desire? Or is it a matter of women rejecting their traditional passive, family-centred and child bearing role?
In this first, fully-documented study of corsetry and tight-lacing, Professor David Kunzle shows how this neglected and misunderstood phenomenon is central to the history of female emancipation and repression. Drawing on sources from Minoan Crete to California, he delves into fundamental aspects of social history, the history of costume, and anthropological, sexilogical and feminist elements in Western culture.