Five Bodies Re-figuring Relationships by John O'Neill

By John O'Neill

5 our bodies bargains an advent to a couple of the main pressing modern matters in the sociology of the body.
The e-book was once first released in 1985 within the united states via Cornell collage Press, and used to be nominated for the loo Porter Award (sponsored via the Canadian Sociology and Anthropology Association). A direction breaking booklet, it provided a framework for the growing to be box of the sociology of the physique and unfolded 'the body' for sociological research.

This re-creation (the prior version was once released via Cornell collage Press (1985) has been considerably revised and up to date to handle today's problems with the physique in sleek lifestyles, neighborhood and politics.

John O'Neill examines how embodied selves and relationships are being re-shaped and re-figured and the way the embodied figures of the polity, economic climate and society signify the contested notions of id, wish, wholeness and fragmentation. He focuses upon these cultural practices wherein we map our macro-micro worlds:

· articulating a cosmology

· a physique politic

· a productivensumptive economy

· a bio-technological frontier of human layout and transplantation

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To do so I shall rely upon various studies by Mary Douglas (1970; 1973a, b; 1975; 1978), both because they so nicely illustrate the bodily ties between individuals and institutions and because they help us to understand the relative claims of psychological and sociological analysis with respect to bodily conduct that it is otherwise tempting to consider wholly biopsychological in nature. Thus, in all societies there are curiosities of behavior which center upon a concern with bodily dirt. Sometimes it is bodily parts, or bodily functions, or whole bodies, or classes of bodies that are considered sources of either purity or pollution.

The effect of the latter is to exclude pigs, which, though they have hoofed feet and are herbivorous, are also carnivorous. There remains some uncertainty about wild herbivorous animals, and therefore the ‘cloven hoof’ is stressed, even though that rule eliminates from the category of clean animals such borderline cases of domestication as the camel, hare, horse, and ass, which are also herbivorous. Even so, clean domesticated animals must be perfect of their kind to be sacrificed. No animal – or person – with a blemish may participate in the holy sacrifice.

Under pressure from critics (Bulmer, 1967; Tambiah, 1969; Douglas, 1973). Douglas came to see that, since anomalies may be either abominated or revered, animal taxonomies are best understood in relation to social rules about residence and marriage. Following Durkheim, we can expect the boundaries of natural classifications to be as permeable or impermeable as the boundaries of the social systems to which they belong. Social boundaries are regulated by (among other things) the rules for marriage – the rules of exogamy and incest avoidance – whose effect is to admit strangers to the circle of kinsman.

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