Embodied Practice (embodied + practice)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Transforming Possession: Josephine and the Work of Culture

ETHOS, Issue 2 2008
Bambi L. Chapin
After a 30-year career as a priestess during which she became renowned for deep possession trances, firewalking, and blood sacrifices, she no longer participates in these activities. The analysis of this case argues that problematic dissociation outside a ritual context can be used in and transformed by involvement in culturally available possession rituals to promote healing. This counters Melford Spiro and others who have viewed possession experiences as necessarily abnormal, psychotic, and symptomatic of mental disorder. It supports Gananath Obeyesekere's assertion that engagement with these symbolic systems can lead to "progressive transformations." Parallels between this priestess' lifestory and Western psychotherapy extend Obeyesekere's conception of "the work of culture" beyond the domain of meaning and symbol to include roles for embodied practice and interpersonal relationships. [spirit possession, Sri Lanka, dissociation, healing, mental health] [source]

Community as practice: social representations of community and their implications for health promotion

Christine Stephens
Abstract Health promotion researchers and practitioners have increasingly turned to community-based approaches. Although there has been much work around the diverse understandings of the term in areas such as community psychology and sociology, I am concerned with how such understandings relate directly to community health research and practice. From a discursive perspective ,community' is seen as a socially constructed representation that is used variously and pragmatically. However, from a wider view, community can be seen as a matter of embodied practice. This paper draws on social representations theory to examine the shifting constructions of ,community', the functional use of those understandings in social life, and the practices that suggest that it is important to attend to their use in particular contexts. Accordingly, the paper argues that meanings of community in the health promotion or public health context must be seen as representations used for specific purposes in particular situations. Furthermore, the broader notion of embodied practice in social life has implications for community participation in health promotion. Copyright 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Swinging within the iron cage: Modernity, creativity, and embodied practice in American postsecondary jazz education

ABSTRACT In this article, I seek to contribute to the anthropology of embodied practice by asking, what would embodied practical mastery that mandates constant differentiation look like, and what would be its cultural and social determinants? In doing so, I draw on ethnographic fieldwork I conducted in a postsecondary jazz school in the United States. Through an exploration of how jazz educators cope with the paradoxical task of training the body and liberating it, I inquire into the challenge of negotiating the tension between the two key modernist ideas of rationalized schooling and Romantic creativity in contemporary institutional contexts. [source]

Getting out of the habitus: an alternative model of dynamically embodied social action

Brenda Farnell
Although Bourdieu's theory of practice has drawn widespread attention to the role of the body and space in social life, the concept of habitus is problematic as an explanatory account of dynamic embodiment because it lacks an adequate conception of the nature and location of human agency. An alternative model is presented which locates agency in the causal powers and capacities of embodied persons to engage in dialogic, signifying acts. Grounded in a non-Cartesian concept of person and ,new realist', post-positivist philosophy of science, vocal signs and action signs, not the dispositions of a habitus, become the means by which humans exercise agency in dynamically embodied practices. Ethnographic data from the communicative practices of the Nakota (Assiniboine) people of northern Montana (USA) support and illustrate the theoretical argument. [source]