By Phillip Vannini
The physique and studies of embodiment have generated a wealthy and various sociological literature. This quantity articulates and illustrates one significant method of the sociology of the physique: symbolic interactionism, an more and more ordinary theoretical base of latest sociology derived from the pragmatism of writers comparable to John Dewey, William James, Charles Peirce, Charles Cooley and George Herbert Mead. The authors argue that, from an interactionist viewpoint, the physique is far greater than a tangible, corporeal item - it's a vessel of significant importance to the person and society. From this angle, physique, self and social interplay are in detail interrelated and regularly reconfigured. the gathering constitutes a special anthology of empirical examine at the physique, from well-being and affliction to sexuality, from good looks and imagery to physically functionality in game and artwork, and from mediated conversation to cosmetic surgery. The contributions are proficient via leading edge interactionist thought, supplying clean insights into one of many quickest becoming sub-disciplines of sociology and cultural experiences.
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Extra info for Body Embodiment: Symbolic Interaction and the Sociology of the Body
In the absence of these traditions individuals are increasingly required to construct their own identities and projected future trajectories. This implicates the body since embodiment is intimately related to selfhood. ” Identities need to be embodied in order to be projected into the social world. In addition, he notes both that new technologies have opened up more aspects of our embodiment to choice (even our sex can be changed) and that the increased flow of scientific advice on health related risks has served to problematize previously habitual bodily practices, bringing them into consciousness.
Reflexivity amounts to self-policing, derived from an internalization of external “panoptic” mechanisms. The individual is enmeshed within a disciplinary network whose functions they take over for themselves, such that the body is imprisoned by a socially and politically constructed “soul” (Foucault 1979). There is room for resistance here. Foucault does not explore resistance in detail, however, and where he elaborates he tends to portray resistance as hyper-conformity to the dictates of power.
This is unrealistic. Some norms persist and inform decisions and behaviour, even if others have been undermined by recent changes. More importantly, agents are portrayed as making decisions in isolation. There is no sense of the role that personal and other networks play in informing and shaping reflexive projects, and in constraining the agent. Part of the problem here is that Giddens has failed to explore the nature of reflexivity and reflexive consciousness in any detail, considering how it emerges in a social context and is populated, even in its most individualized forms, by the perspective of both particular and generalized others.