The body as a site of both consent and potential resistance
Datum: måndag 11 december 2023
Tid: 13.00 – 14.30
Forskarseminarium med Örjan Bartholdson från SLU
The body as a site of both consent and potential resistance: an exploration of the embodied memories and practices among Swedish bodybuilders and Afro-Brazilians.
By drawing on two distinct case studies, the first concerning young men in Sweden whose life project is focused on building as large and defined body mass as possible, and the second the lived and embodied experiences and memories of racial and class discrimination among young Afro-Brazilian men, I attempt to contribute to the Marxist inspired discussion on ideology. The paper takes its point of departure in Bourdieu’s theory of doxa, in phenomenology and in critical realism. I argue that the gym constitutes a specific social field to where the bodybuilders can withdraw from the demands of economic and social mobility in the external society, while, at the same time, their life-project is informed by the very same ideology of this society, labelled infravalues by David Graeber. I further argue that the bodybuilders’ withdrawal into the gym, and their project and embodied practices lack the potential of critical stance towards their economic and social inferior position in the society.
This case study is juxtaposed with a research project that explores how lived and embodied experiences and memories of racial and class discrimination among Afro-Brazilians in Salvador; that is what Bloch refers to as non-linguistic mental models, Giddens as practical consciousness and Bourdieu as body hexis, form an underlying pattern of tacit collective understanding, which with remarkable speed can be transformed into a discourse of Afro-Brazilian victimage and resistance to their inferior position in the Brazilian society.
Örjan Bartholdson is a social anthropologist who wrote his PhD thesis on the Afro-Brazilian movement in Salvador, Brazil. He is currently based at the Swedish University of Agricultural Science (SLU) in Uppsala. The last decade he has conducted research on smallholders in the Brazilian and Peruvian Amazon. At SLU he mainly teaches social and development theories.
Senast uppdaterad: 28 augusti 2023