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Dr. Marc Lafrance

Assistant Professor

Dr. Marc Lafrance Dr. Marc Lafrance

Marc Lafrance is an Assistant Professor of Sociology. The winner of two Commonwealth Scholarships and a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship, he earned his Masters and Doctoral Degrees in Cultural Studies at the University of Oxford while receiving additional training at the British Institute of Psychoanalysis (London, England) and the École normale supérieure (Paris, France).

Informed by an interest in self, body and society, Lafrance’s research program relates to a number of different objects of enquiry. To start, Lafrance examines the relationship between identity, embodiment and surgical technology. Looking at cosmetic, reconstructive and transplant procedures, Lafrance considers how recent developments in surgical technology are radically reshaping what it means to be human.

Lafrance is particularly interested in media representations—ranging from autobiographies to reality television shows—and how they can be seen to express a variety of collective fears and fantasies pertaining to present-day body modification practices.

Alongside his work on body modification, Lafrance studies issues of body image and how they relate to men and masculinity. In doing so, Lafrance focuses on how heterosexual men’s relationships to their bodies are changing as ideals of masculinity become more and more difficult to achieve. Through his analyses of advertisements, individual testimonies and corporate marketing strategies, Lafrance reflects on how both the sports supplement industry and the erectile dysfunction industry are placing new demands on the male body. Lafrance’s research seeks to make sense of these demands and how they are linked to what is sometimes called the “crisis” of modern masculinity.

In keeping with his interest in men and masculinity, Lafrance considers the politics of gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity in popular culture. Looking in particular at the rise of the paparazzi, Lafrance examines the relationship between spectacle and surveillance and how it can make or break the careers – and indeed the lives – of popular artists. To this end, Lafrance concentrates on artists ranging from Britney Spears and Lady Gaga to Kanye West and Michael Jackson.

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