Presentation on theme: "ANTHROPOLOGIES OF THE BODY"— Presentation transcript:
1 ANTHROPOLOGIES OF THE BODY Scheper-Hughes & Lock – “the mindful body”Phenomenology & embodimentBourdieu – Structure, habitus, practice
2 Scheper-Hughes & Lock: anthropology of the body “The body as simultaneously a physical and symbolic artifact, naturally and culturally produced, anchored in a particular historical moment”Four bodies – individual body, social body, and body politic, the mindful bodyseparate but overlapping units of analysisdifferent theoretical approachesphenomenology, structuralism and symbolism, post-structuralism (practice theory – structure & agency)
3 The Individual Bodylived experience of the body-self, body, mind, matter, psyche, soul
4 The Social Bodyrepresentational uses of the body as a natural symbol with which to think about nature, society, culture
5 The Body Politicregulation, surveillance, & control of bodies (individual & collective) in reproduction & sexuality, in work & leisure, in sickness & other forms of deviance
6 The Mindful Bodythe most immediate, the proximate terrain where social truths and social contradictions are played outa locus of personal and social resistance, creativity, and struggleemotions form the mediatrix between the individual, social and political body, unified through the concept of the 'mindful body.'
7 PHENOMENOLOGY & EMBODIMENT Body is not an object to be studied in relation to culture, but is to be considered as the SUBJECT of culturebody is a setting in relation to the world; consciousness is the body projecting itself into the worldExperience not a primordial existential given but a historically and culturally constitutes process predicated on certain ways of being in the world
8 STRUCTURE, HABITUS, PRACTICE (agency) Structure – a particular class of conditions of existence produce habitusHabitus – regulated and regular without being in any way the product of obedience to ruleshabitus can be collectively orchestrated without being the product of the organizing action of a conductorSocial agents operate according to their "feel for the game" (the "feel" being, roughly, habitus, and the "game" being the structure).
9 STRUCTURE, HABITUS, PRACTICE (agency) Practical sense (practice) -- proleptic adjustment (anticipatory) to demands of a field (structure)encounter between habitus and a field which makes possible the near-perfect anticipation of the future inscribed in all the concrete configurations (structure)the experience -- objective structures -- played out as the feel for direction, orientation, impending outcome
10 Gender: the individual body, the social body, the body politic, and habitus Sex, sexuality, & genderNot the same thing
11 Sex & the individual body differences in biologyIs this a man or woman?How do you know?
12 Sex & the Social BodyTells us part of the story, but not all of the story
14 GenderGENDER - the cultural construction of male & female characteristicsvs. the biological nature of men & womenSEX differences are biological - GENDER differences are culturalbehavioral & attitudinal differences from social & cultural rather than biological point of viewGender refers to the ways members of the two sexes are perceived, evaluated and expected to behave
15 Gender Boundariessince gender is culturally constructed the boundaries are conceptual rather than physicalBoundaries require markers to indicate genderthe boundaries are dynamic, eg. now it is acceptable for men to wear earrings
16 Boundary Markers Voice Physique Dress Behaviour Hair style Kinetics Language use
17 Boundary Markers & Inter-personal Interaction How do we react when someone seems to have traits of each category?social intercourse requires that the interacting parties know to which gender category `the other' belongsFelicita VestvaliNew York opera star who specialized in singing contralto "trouser roles."
18 Women cross dress all the time. The difference is perception.Acceptance or Rejection by society
19 Blurring the Boundaries persistence of dualisms in ideologies of genderother categories - every society including our own is at some time or other faced with people who do not fit into its sex & gender categories
20 “Third” Gendera significant number of people are born with genitalia that is neither clearly male or femaleHermaphroditespersons who change their biological sexpersons who exhibit behavior deemed appropriate for the opposite sexpersons who take on other gender roles other than those indicated by their genitals
21 “Third” Gendermultiple cultural & historical worlds in which people of divergent gender & sexual desire existmargins or borders of societymay pass as normal to remain hidden in the official ideology & everyday commerce of social lifeIn some societies when discovered - iconic matter out of place - "monsters of the cultural imagination“third gender as sexual deviance a common theme in N. America
23 Sexuality & the body politic all societies regulate sexualitylots of variation cross-culturallydegree of restrictiveness not always consistent through life spanadolescence vs. adulthoodVarieties of “normative” sexual orientationHeterosexual, homosexual, transexualSexuality in societies change over time
24 Sexuality as body politics sex acts have varying social significance and subjective meanings in accordance with the cultural context in which they occuras evidenced by cross-cultural variation in sex categories and labelsthe underlying assumption -- sexuality is mediated by cultural and historical factorsdistinctions to be made between sexual acts, sexual identities, and sexual communities.
25 GENDER & POWERgender roles - tasks & activities that a culture assigns to sexesgender stereotypes - oversimplified strongly held ideas about the characteristics of men & women & third sex-third gendergender stratification - unequal distribution of rewards (socially valued resources, power, prestige, personal freedom) between men & women reflecting their position in the social hierarchy
27 Social Stratification & Gender Gender is an important dimension of social inequalityGender stratification frequently takes the form of patriarchy whereby men dominate womenDo women in our society have a second class status relative to men? If so How?
28 universals versus particulars universal subordination of women is often cited as one of the true cross-cultural universals, a pan-cultural factEngels called it the “world historical defeat of women”even so the particulars of women’s roles, statuses, power, and value differ tremendously by culture
30 The Poetics & Politics of Bodies Body image as text/representationThe poetics of the text/representationidentify aesthetic elements, narrative structures, epistemologyThe politics of text/representationBehavior (structure) controls perceptionthe body image experienced in perception approximates that anticipated by the cognized & behaving self.the use of the body-as-symbol and the distortion of the body image for communicative purposesImages of our bodies is a basic component of our concept of our self and our personal identity.
31 Some Observations of Bodies in N. America media's increasing use of slim female models and images of nearly unattainable body measurementsyoung women are subjected to images of the “perfect” female body and are subsequently distorting their own body imagesComplaints about body fat have become normal discourse among females“This pattern of body image distortion is considerably more pronounced and more common in women than in men, to the point that it is considered a characteristically female phenomenon (1999).new field of social aesthetics
32 Western Male Bodies & Taiwanese Male Bodies Body image disorders appear to be more prevalent in Western than non-Western menPrevious studies have shown that young Western men display unrealistic body ideals and that Western advertising seems to place an increasing value on the male bodyDo Taiwanese men exhibit less dissatisfaction with their bodies than Western men?Does Taiwanese advertising place less value on the male body than Western media?Am J Psychiatry 162: , February 2005
33 Men & Poetics/Politics of Male Bodies: advertising & self Taiwanese men exhibited significantly less body dissatisfaction than their Western counterparts.In the magazine study, American magazine advertisements portrayed undressed Western men frequently, but Taiwanese magazines portrayed undressed Asian men rarely
34 ConclusionsTaiwan appears less preoccupied with male body image than Western societies.This difference may reflectWestern traditions emphasizing muscularity and fitness as a measure of masculinityincreasing exposure of Western men to muscular male bodies in media imagesgreater decline in traditional male roles in the West, leading to greater emphasis on the body as a measure of masculinityThese factors may explain why body dysmorphic disorder and anabolic steroid abuse are more serious problems in the West than in Taiwan.
35 Discourse, Subjectivity, Power a system of representationCodes and conventionsrules and practices that produce meaningful statements and regulate discourse in different historical periods"Discourse, Foucault argues, “constructs the topic. It defines and produces the objects of our knowledge. It governs the way that a topic can be meaningfully talked about and reasoned about.”
36 Concepts of the Individual, self, person in anthropology Individual as member of humankinde (biologistic)Self as locus of experience (psychologistic)Person as agent-in-society (sociologistic)
37 Identity and Subjectivity Social order -- arrays of identifications jockeying for position, gaining and losing strength, clashing with others, aligning with still others, and defining the texture of social action in their activity.Subjectivity – complex negotiation of representation & experienceconstructing the subject, constructing agency, constituting subjectivity
38 Discourse, Subjectivity, Power Discourse -- the bearer of various subject positionsSubject positions -- specific positions of agency and identity in relation to particular forms of knowledge and practiceSubjectivity --produced within discourse, subjected to discourse.subject position--[for us to become the subject of a particular discourse, and thus the bearers of its power/knowledge] we must locate ourselves in the position from which the discourse makes most sense, and thus become its 'subjects' by subjecting' ourselves to its meanings, power and regulation.
39 Discourse, Gender, Power sexuality and the body -- sites of power and politicssocially imposed structures that objectified sexual identity and gender differencessocially imposed structures that shape gender relations and behavior