AAG Session (ID 8686)

Convenors: Susan Buckingham*, Monica Degen*, Jen Petersen#

(*Brunel University, UK; # NYU, USA)

Embodied methodologies: using the body as a research instrument

The body is a crucial tool in developing research. While recent years have witnessed a surge in research on the body in the social sciences, researchers have remained conspicuously silent on the role and implication of their own bodies in the research process. This session follows Wacquant’s call to interrogate research “not only of the body, in the sense of object, but also from the body, that is deploying the body as a tool of inquiry and vector of knowledge” (Wacquant 2004:viii). As the body becomes a ‘research instrument’ (Longhurst 2008) in its own right it outlines the importance of physicality in the “theorising of the social flesh”(Beasley and Bacchi 2000:349). In particular we want to interrogate what a focus on sensory perceptions, emotional experiences or embodied practices reveals about the social world that words can not? Furthermore we aim to explore the various intercorporeal relationships that emerge and are articulated through the connections between embodiment, subjectivity and spatial and material practices. We are therefore looking for papers that account for how the body is implicated and integral in research processes and explore the multiple and sometimes conflicting territories of the embodied self in fieldwork.

Please send abstracts to susan.buckingham@brunel.ac.uk by 20th October 2009

Professor Susan Buckingham
Centre for Human Geography
Director, Social Work, School of Health Sciences and Social Care
Brunel University
Uxbridge, UB8 3PH

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