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Embodying Another Self

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par Maryse Cournollet - publié le

Dans le cadre du XVIII congrès mondial de sociologie de l’Association Internationale de Sociologie (ISA), à Yokohama au Japon du 13 au 19 juillet 2014, Chan Langaret, Doctorant LAIOS-IIAC, organise une session du Research Committee 54 (The Body in the Social Sciences)



Cette session a pour titre "Embodying another self", elle se tiendra principalement en anglais (français et espagnol sont les autres langues officielles de l’association). Son objectif est d’interroger la notion d’incorporation en rapport avec les multiples conceptions de soi. Ces présentations pourront s’appuyer sur des données tirées de terrains d’enquête divers ou des réflexions théoriques, à l’aide des outils proposés par la sociologie, l’anthropologie etc.


Les propositions de contribution doivent impérativement être transmises via le formulaire électronique de l’ISA qui sera disponible sur cette page : http://www.isa-sociology.org/congress2014/rc/rc.php?n=RC54 entre le 3 juin et le 30 septembre 2013.


Présentation de la session  :

Embodying Another Self


Considering the multiplicity of the selves, in the material life or in the virtual life, related to the individual or to the community, according to the reality or to the fiction, we can wonder how the self is constructed. This session explores how the constitution of the self is linked to an embodied dimension. Focused on case studies in different fieldworks, with notably questions of personal conceptions and social visibility, associated to different sociological and anthropological approaches, the session aims to present several analyses about the embodied dimension of various self conceptions.


Sociology and anthropology have already studied this question of embodiment, the self often counted as a unity. Following precursory Marcel Mauss`s analysis of the body (1934), we can ask the cultural dimension of the body uses and understand how this dimension can impact the construction of the self. Edward T Hall (1966) explored this cultural dimension in the way people consider distances between bodies with the concept of proxemics. David Le Breton (1990, 2002, 2011) also analyzed the link between the cultural and imaginary conception of the body and its use in creating a physical and spiritual entity defined as an embodied identity. These works help to consider, in various areas of self expression, the embodiment of the self.


Erving Goffman analysis (1959, 1963, 1971) notably aimed to understand how the embodiment of multiple roles and identities are linked to cultural, socio-economic or professional requirements. Norbert Elias analysis (1939, 1956, 1987) explored the Western cultural and historical production of self-control in the last centuries. He showed how individuals can follow the way of the detachment , where the self is based on (and attached to) a rational thinking about it ; and how individuals can otherwise follow the way of the involvement , where the self is based on (and attached to) the feeling of real experience.


This last dimension of his sociological analysis can also be linked to the notion of Flow developed by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1990) and opens a new field in asking the embodiment of the self by distinguishing the embodied self and the mentally considered self.


Proposals of theoretically or empirically based papers about the embodiment of the self, concerning various fieldworks, should take the form of a +/-300 words abstract, submissions must be recorded on ISA website (http://www.isa-sociology.org/congress2014/rc/rc.php?n=RC54) no later than 2013/09/30.

Key words : Embodiment, Involvement, Detachment, Self, Person, Character, Actor.