Choosing body as one of the most fancied topic in social and cultural research this panel is discussing the affective body: body as an active agency in creating cultural and social representations.
During the 1990s social theory signalled a radical change in understandings on the body. The affective turn in social sciences brought about a shift in perspectives, thus the body has been regarded as site of potentiality instead of former mere entity and substance (Clough - Halley 2007, Blackman 2008) Bearing in mind that it must have been just as too simplistic, even the other side of the coin, to reduce body phenomenon to immediate social processes or classifications, body is discussed as interplay of often interdependent biological, physiological AND social processes. However, within the new understanding body as felt or the so-called "feeling-body" was gaining more and more importance compared to former neglecting or extremely reducing tendencies regarding it as an "inert mass".
Focusing on the above relatively recent turn this panel intends to discuss body as socio-cultural phenomenon uniting affective, reflexive and communicative aspects. We invite papers investigating the further questions from ethnological, anthropological, and even interdisciplinary perspectives:
• the communicative aspects of the body (body language, the impact of physical distortions / disorders on communication, body as message and field of negotiation);
• the role of body techniques in transmitting attitudes / emotions / ideas;
• body as site of somatisation / health / healing / sensation
• body experienced as corporeality;
• body as medium between self and the "Other" expressing social / cultural / gender roles
Blackman, Lisa: The Body: The Key Concepts. 2008. Oxford: Berg Publ.
Clough, Patricia Ticineto - Halley, Jean (eds.) The Affective Turn: theorizing the social. 2007. Durham and London: Duke University Press.