Body & Society - Body Soc

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Psychologie, Sportwissenschaft, Sportpsychologie
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Body & Society caters for the upsurge of interest in the social and cultural analysis of the human body. The journal is dedicated to the publication of contemporary empirical and theoretical work from a wide range of disciplines.
Meine Notizen
Index to Volume 25, 2019
Body & Society, .
Thanks to Reviewers
Body & Society, .
Introduction: The Legacies and Limits of The Body in Pain
Body & Society, .
Since its publication in 1985, Elaine Scarry's The Body in Pain has become a seminal text in the study of embodiment. In its foregrounding of the body in war and torture, it critiques the minimising of the body in questions of politics, offering a compelling account of the structure and phenomenology of violent domination. However, at the same time the text can be seen to shore up a mind/body dualism that has been associated with oppressive forms of gendering, racialisation and disablement. Divisive, powerful and elegant, the text has been central in the shaping of approaches to embodiment over the past 30 years. This special issue revisits Scarry's text in the light of 30 years of scholarship on embodiment and the body. Its legacies and limits are exemplified through a series of articles that mobilise the arguments of The Body in Pain even as they push at the limits of the text.
Genome Editing Animals and the Promise of Control in a (Post-) Anthropocentric World
Body & Society, Ahead of Print.
Gene editing tools are ‘revolutionizing’ microbiological research. Much of the public debate focuses on the possibility of human germ line applications. The use of genome editing to alter non-human animals, however, will have more immediate impacts on our daily lives. Genome edited animals are used for basic biological and biomedical research and could soon play a role in the livestock industry and ecosystem management. Genome editing thus provides an occasion to rethink societal narratives about the relationships between humans and other animals. Even though the technique can be easily incorporated as an example into a conventional storyline about the development of the modern life sciences as striving for control over nature, it can also help to highlight the anthropocentric biases expressed in these narratives and demonstrate the continuities between humans and other animals.
Gilbert Simondon and the Technical Mentalities and Transindividual Affects of Art-science
Body & Society, Ahead of Print.
Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in the field of ‘art-science’ collaborations for their perceived capacity to develop new cultural understandings of technology and science. In this article, and through an engagement with the philosophy of Gilbert Simondon, I argue that if art-science represents an important site for the formation of an alternate technical culture today, then it is because of the new technical mentalities that such practices might cultivate. Here, creating a new technical mentality is more than just a representational concern with enhancing ‘public awareness’ of technology, instead referring to more material transformations in our embodied capacities for perceiving and affectively engaging with technologies. I flesh this potential out through an encounter with work of Art Orienté objet, whose art-science collaborations challenge the anthropocentric and utilitarian mentalities of contemporary bioscience through explorations of the transindividual conditions of human embodiment and its material immersion within nonhuman ecologies.
The Biopolitical Embodiment of Work in the Era of Human Enhancement
Body & Society, Ahead of Print.
Human enhancement or the use of technoscientific and biomedical advances to improve human performance is a social phenomenon that has become increasingly significant in Western societies over the last 15 years or so, notably in the workplace. By focusing on the non-medical use of psychostimulants, and from a perspective that is both critical and exploratory, this article aims to show that human enhancement practices prefigure new forms of embodiment and interiorization of work that are contributing to a significant reconfiguration of biopower. By allowing individuals to technically push back their physical and mental limits, beyond what is considered ‘normal’, human enhancement is enabling a form of biopower that is focused on the individual and on the possibility of reconfiguring biological norms in themselves. Far from participating in workers’ emancipation, this biopolitical model of enhancement markedly points to the issues of intensifying work conditions and increased employee self-discipline.
Embodiment is Ecological: The Metabolic Lives of Whey Protein Powder
Body & Society, Ahead of Print.
This article explores the metabolic lives of whey powder, the most popular form of protein supplement in what has become a multibillion-dollar industry during the past two decades. Faced with the slippery and elusive properties latent to this multiplicitous substance, our approach is to follow whey powder from its mid-20th century emergence as a noxious byproduct of industrial dairy production, through the human and animal bodies unevenly tasked with its processing, and out into waterways, where its nitrogen density rematerializes as a pollutant. We show how whey powder emerged as a solution to the environmental damage posed by whey pollution, how such damage is an effect of the systematic overproduction endemic to agrofood industries and how whey’s toxicity persists through processes of metabolism and consumption, despite attempts to process and profit from its vital capacities. Throughout, we argue that whey exemplifies ecological embodiment, understood as the co-constitutive relations between bodily matter and ecological life, and their entanglement with processes of commodification.
Face and the City
Body & Society, Ahead of Print.
This piece sets out an exploration of the relations between the city, the body and the face, seeking to understand in particular how the city and the face could be articulated with reference to an image of the body. It is suggested that the face and the city entertain a kind of privileged affinity. Just as the face unsettles the head and the bodily system to which it belongs, projecting the latter into an intersubjective social system of interaction and signification, so the city unsettles the land where it is located, projecting it into long-distance connections with similar entities scattered across the continent, and beyond. The piece evolves into the twin exploration of, on the one hand, ‘the city of the face’ and, on the other, ‘the face of the city’.
Expertise and Non-binary Bodies: Sex, Gender and the Case of Dutee Chand
Body & Society, Ahead of Print.
How do institutions respond to expert contests over epistemologies of sex and gender? In this article, I consider how epistemological ascendancy in debates over the regulation of women athletes with high testosterone is established within a legal setting. Approaching regulation as an institutional act that defines forms of embodied difference, the legitimacy of which may be called into question, I show how sexed bodies are enacted through and as part of determinations of expertise. I focus on proceedings from 2015 when the Court of Arbitration for Sport was asked to decide whether an Indian sprinter, Dutee Chand, could compete as a female athlete. Despite acknowledging that sexed bodies are unruly, the court ultimately endorsed the use of testosterone as seemingly essential to women’s athletic performance, thereby reasserting a two-category model of biological difference. The legitimacy of these regulatory efforts was established through the concurrent narrowing of expertise and the body, a process that is also revealed to be gendered.
Do Brain Decoders Have an Ontological Mind of Their Own? Response to Nikolas Rose
Body & Society, Ahead of Print.
In a recent article published in Body & Society, Nikolas Rose considers what he takes to be possible historical–ontological implications of recent developments in brain-decoding technologies. He argues that such technologies embody the premise that the brain is the real locus of mental states and processes, hence that a new materialist ontology of thought may be in the process of emerging through technological demonstration rather than through philosophical resolution. In this reply, I offer some reasons for being sceptical about such claims. I argue that the ontology in question hardly amounts to anything particularly new, that technologies cannot demonstrate anything in these matters independently of philosophical inclinations of some kind and that it is at least an open issue whether the ontology in question can secure its claim to be a materialist ontology of thought.
Noise as Dysappearance: Attuning to a Life with Type 1 Diabetes
Body & Society, Ahead of Print.
In this article, we use noise as a metaphor for the overload of information – embodied, technological and online social – that characterizes life with type 1 diabetes. Noise illustrates embodied sensations of fluctuating blood glucose, measurement problems and alarms from digital self-care devices and irrelevant or emotionally disturbing posts on Facebook. Attunement is crucial to the quality of self-care achieved by individuals and comprises: (1) developing skills to receive clear signals from the body, (2) adjusting and individualizing self-care technologies to bodies and daily lives and (3) discerning appropriate distracting and unhelpful self-care information. Ideally, life with type 1 diabetes is harmonious, with clear messages from bodies, technologies and Facebook that enable better self-care.
Elaine Scarry, Michael Haneke’s ‘Funny Games’ and the Structure of Cruelty
Body & Society, Ahead of Print.
Haneke’s film ‘Funny Games’ is a reflection on the nature of pain and representation. I argue that the film closely follows Elaine Scarry’s arguments about the structure of torture. Further, by refusing to appeal to categories of generalization such as ‘sadism’ and ‘psychopathy’, Haneke undermines the process of finding meaning in violence. Haneke positions his audiences as more than just witnesses to torture, but active participants in cruelty.
Labour Pain, ‘Natal Politics’ and Reproductive Justice for Black Birth Givers
Body & Society, Ahead of Print.
The reception of Elaine Scarry’s landmark text, The Body in Pain, focuses in part on exploring how pain might be understood as beneficial or therapeutic. Childbirth is often cited as the paradigmatic instance of this kind of beneficial pain. This essay examines conceptualizations of labour pain in biomedical, natural childbirth and reproductive justice movements that explore the limits of Scarry’s description of pain as ‘unshareable’. Political struggles over pain in childbirth centre on the legibility of pain in labour. Feminist and natural childbirth activists have developed an understanding of pain at birth as central to maternal subjectivity, where pain is a biopolitical force and its management a means of self-transformation. Alongside calls for reproductive justice, the essay considers how the visibility and expressivity of labour pain could contribute to what Imogen Tyler and Lisa Baraitser term a new ‘natal politics’ that addresses concerns for the disproportionate injury and death experienced by Black birth givers.
Affective War: Wounded Bodies as Political Technologies
Body & Society, Ahead of Print.
This article argues that wounded military bodies are affective technologies in the production of supportive publics in war. It builds on Elaine Scarry’s concept of substantiation, suggesting that the damaged or altered body functions in war as a vehicle for the making material of immaterial beliefs, values and ideas. Scarry’s focus on the affective force of the wounded body is elaborated and pushed further, by asserting that the concept of substantiation needs to be supplemented by an analysis of the work that wounded bodies do as political technologies. These arguments are mobilised through two examples of the public staging of wounded military bodies in the United Kingdom during and after recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. These examples provide an analysis of the political processes of substantiation: the specific mechanisms through which wounded bodies are rendered visible and through which their affective capacities to compel and grip are mediated.
Risk and the Spectral Politics of Disability
Body & Society, Ahead of Print.
Drawing on the institutional history of the sperm bank and legacies of eugenics, we consider how spectrums of risk simultaneously constrain and expand possibilities for disability justice. We do so by examining the discourses surrounding US-based Xytex Corporation sperm bank Donor 9623, described as the ‘perfect’ donor but later discovered to have a criminal record and a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Haunted by the dread of disability, we examine how parents mark the fate of their donor-conceived child on a graded spectrum of genetic and psychiatric risk, in need of perpetual monitoring and intervention. Using this case to understand the contemporary reorganization of disability via spectral risk, we advocate for a critical engagement with how disability haunting can enable us to better attend to the effects of the past and present in such a way that provokes a more collectively just future.
Governing Homelessness through Running
Body & Society, Ahead of Print.
Machines with Faces: Robot Bodies and the Problem of Cruelty
Body & Society, Ahead of Print.
On Pain as a Distinct Sensation: Mapping Intensities, Affects, and Difference in ‘Interior States’
Body & Society, Ahead of Print.
There Is No Brain: Rethinking Neuroscience through a Nomadic Ontology
Body & Society, Ahead of Print.
‘Synthetic Blood’: Entangling Politics and Biology
Body & Society, Ahead of Print.
Predatory War, Drones and Torture: Remapping the Body in Pain
Body & Society, Ahead of Print.
Index to Volume 24, 2018
Body & Society, .
Thanks to Reviewers
Body & Society, .
Affective Pedagogies, Equine-assisted Experiments and Posthuman Leadership
Body & Society, Ahead of Print.
Touch and Affect: Analysing the Archive of Touch Biographies
Body & Society, Ahead of Print.
Embodiment in High-altitude Mountaineering: Sensing and Working with the Weather
Body & Society, Ahead of Print.
Gender, Ethnicity, and Transgender Embodiment: Interrogating Classification in Facial Feminization Surgery
Body & Society, Ahead of Print.
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