The Rise of a Touch-Less Society
Are we becoming “cuddle-starved”? This book asks what physical touch means today and describes a growing dilemma among late modern humans: we crave physical closeness and yet want to protect ourselves from injury at all costs.
A touch is powerful. It can be electrifying and soothing. It conveys intimacy and security, but it can also threaten, it can wound, and we can be disgusted by it. People need touch to thrive, but by being open to others, we are also making ourselves vulnerable. Elisabeth von Thadden shows how our ambivalence towards the promise of personal integrity and the pursuit of the perfect body have affected our relationship to touch. It is without a doubt a great achievement that personal injury and unwanted contact are punishable actions today. However, while we were perhaps more frequently threatened by forced closeness in the past, we are now facing a self-determined loneliness in which digital worlds may replace all direct physical contact. How can we deal with this crisis of touch?
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