Five Bodies: Re-figuring Relationships (Published in association with Theory, Culture & Society)
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Five Bodies offers an introduction to some of the most urgent contemporary concerns within the sociology of the body.
The book was first published in 1985 in the USA by Cornell University Press, and was nominated for the John Porter Award (sponsored by the Canadian Sociology and Anthropology Association). A path breaking book, it offered a framework for the growing field of the sociology of the body and opened up 'the body' for sociological research.
This new edition (the previous edition was published by Cornell University Press (1985) has been substantially revised and updated to address today's issues of the body in modern life, community and politics.
John O'Neill examines how embodied selves and relationships are being re-shaped and re-figured and how the embodied figures of the polity, economy and society represent the contested notions of identity, desire, wholeness and fragmentation. He focuses upon those cultural practices through which we map our macro-micro worlds:
· articulating a cosmology
· a body politic
· a productivensumptive economy
· a bio-technological frontier of human design and transplantation
potential within the family: the protection of poor children which allowed for the destruction of the family as an island of resistance; the privileged alliance of the doctor and the educator with the wife for developing procedures of savings, educational promotion and so on. The procedures of social control depend much more on the complexity of intrafamilial relationships than on its complexes, more on its craving for betterment than on the defense of its acquisitions (private property, judicial
in every human being, blood has always been regarded as the source and symbol of life. Furthermore, human blood is surrounded with religious awe. It is the mark of life and death, of health and fertility, of holy sacrifice and unholy murder. Blood is noble when spilled in battle, awesome when menstruated. Blood is the vehicle of passion, of individual and national character. Blood, then, is both a cultural and a biomedical object. In short, whatever the strictly biological problems in thinking
a deformed fetus Coercive e.g., require a genetic test before marriage license is issued Breeding goals 3. e.g., artificial insemination; parents’ choice of donors’ features 4. e.g., urge people to use sperm from donors who have high IQs e.g., prohibit feeble-minded persons from marrying biological span, confined to the reduced nuclear family contemplating childlessness in favor of consumerism, the neo-individual is obsessed with the length and physical quality of his or her life. In this
themselves to care for our physical well-being. Of course, the aim of the care we receive as children is to bring us to care for ourselves, to free us from the dependency of an immature body and an uneducated mind. Thus, the satisfaction of our bodily needs is never intended by those who care for us to yield in us a merely selfish pleasure. Human care initiates us into a tradition of caring whereby we learn to give back what we ourselves have received. This is an essential condition of civic
under a great weight. The farmers of Latium used to say the fields were thirsty, bore fruit, were swollen with grain; and our rustics speak of plants making love, vines going mad, resinous trees weeping. Innumerable other examples could be collected from all languages. All of which is a consequence of our axiom (120) that man in his ignorance makes himself the rule of the universe, for in the examples cited he has made of himself an entire world. So that, as rational metaphysics teaches that man