Ulrike Dubiel

Ulrike Dubiel`s research project  “In the eye of the Beholder – Beauty and the Construction of Social Identity” (“Im Auge des Betrachters – Schönheit und die Konstruktion sozialer Identitäten im Alten Ägypten”) aimed at investigating beauty as a cultural construction and a result of beautification practices. Thus the natural body is transformed into a cultural and social medium showing collective and individual identity. The objects used for this transformation encode the social status of their users, i.e. by being part of a local/provincial material culture, or by indicating an emulation of elite behavior by non-elite groups. Hence the “body beautiful” is endowed with markers of status and gender, of inclusion and exclusion, signaling distinction as well as integration. Another point of interest was the alteration of such identity strategies in times of social change and political crisis and their adaptation to new circumstances.