Friday, March 23, 2007

Bodies and politics

A Quote:

[The body] is a concrete physical space of flesh and bone, of chemistries and electricities; it is a highly mediated space, a space transformed by cultural interpretations and representations...

Body and the body politic, body and the social body, body and the city, body and the citizen body, are intimately linked productions.... The practice of using the individual body as a metaphor for the social body, of deploying it as a sign of the health or disease of the social body, develops in the Athenian polis with ideas of democracy and reason and continues into the present. Body and city are the persistent subjects of a social/civic discourse, of an imaginary obsessed with the fear of unruly and dangerous elements and the equally obsessive desire to bring them under control: fears of pollution, contagions, disease, things out of place [for the ancient Greeks, the definition of 'pollution']; desires for controlling and mastering that [become] the spatial practice of enclosing unruly elements with carefully guarded spaces. These acts of differentiation, separation, and enclosure involve material symbolic and lived spaces....bodies and cities and tests...and are practiced as a politics of difference, as segregation and separation. (Hooper quoted in Soja 114) [Soja, Edward. (1996) Thirdspace. Malden, MA: Blackwell Press.]