THE CASPIAN REGION:Politics, Economics, Culture

Scientific journal

Bathhouse as foucauldian heterotopias

2017. №4, pp. 179-185

Iakushenkova O. - D.Sc. (Philosophy), Astrakhan State University, 20a Tatischeva Str., Astrakhan, 414056, Russian Federation,

The author tries to trace the cultural phenomenon of the bath as a heterotopic space. Foucauldian approach that allows to allocate a unique space which combines multiple cultural spaces in each culture is used for this purpose. These spaces called heterotopias by Foucault operate based on special laws and often conflict with the laws in the main or homogeneous spaces. One of the most typical act in heterotopia is a transgression in which the subject performs the action that is not possible in the norms of homogeneous landscape. Bath in this sense is the heterotopia par excellence, which accumulates a variety of transgressive behaviors, from nudity, which can be attributed to the profane, to the sacred cleansing or various ritual acts of a religious type. In addition to its core functions (cleaning etc.) bath combines a lot of the others: communication, relaxation, recreation, etc.. According to Foucault, the body is a part of the political discourse, therefore, bath or bodily requirements are an integral part of a state cultural policy. And in this respect bath performs a kind of place where freedoms and limits are maximum mixed, where the traditional and the new are closely woven together.

Key words: гетеротопия, трансгрессия, баня, традиции, телесность, Фуко, онсен, спа-салоны, сауна, тело, heterotopia, transgression, bath, tradition, body politics, Foucault, Onsen, Spa, sauna, body