chapter  8
The “China Girl” Problem: Reconsidering David Bowie in the 1980s
BySHELTON WALDREP
Pages 13

This chapter explores the changing public investments in figures such as David Bowie, also to say something about how they help navigate a wider world full of fear and ambivalence. The lure of a culture and community that has achieved a sense of certainty and stability continues to fascinate, but only if people turn a blind eye to the violence upon which this depends. The work of classical sociologist Emile Durkheim argued collective myths are required not only to bond the wider community, but also to offer an alternative to the narrowly utilitarian life. The idea of a singular identity continues to haunt modernity connecting the rise of fascism in Europe and elsewhere with the rise of religious fundamentalism and certain problematic features of aggressive nationalism. The multidimensional nature of human identities has long been one of Bowie's main themes.