Serial killing and the postmodern self

DSpace/Manakin Repository

Open Research Exeter (ORE)

Serial killing and the postmodern self

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:


Title: Serial killing and the postmodern self
Author: King, Anthony
Citation: 19(3), pp. 109-125
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Journal: History of the Human Sciences
Date Issued: 2006-08
DOI: 10.1177/0952695106066544
Abstract: The self has been a consistently central theme in philosophy and the social sciences and, in the last decades of the 20th century, the fragmentation of the modern self has engendered extensive academic commentary. In order to contribute to current discussions about self, it is perhaps most effective to map the transformation of a single representation of the self in contemporary culture. As a cultural ‘flashpoint’, the serial killer could provide an apposite analytical focus. Drawing critically on Mark Seltzer's work on serial killers this article interprets serial killing as a form of commodified transgression. In contrast to the modern self, established through state-institutionalized routines, serial killers establish their identities through ecstatic intercourse. These acts of bodily and ethical transgression are facilitated by the use of commodities. In this way, the serial killer represents a self which is consistent with the colonization of interpersonal relations by multinational capital. The serial killer signifies the appearance of a postmodern self.
Type: ArticlePreprint
Description: © 2006 by SAGE Publications
Keywords: Serial killingMurderPostmodernitySelfIdentityConsumption
ISSN: 0952-6951

Please note: Before reusing this item please check the rights under which it has been made available. Some items are restricted to non-commercial use. Please cite the published version where applicable.

Files in this item

Files Size Format View
Serial4.pdf 163.3Kb PDF Thumbnail

This item appears in the following Collection(s)


My Account

Local Links