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    Experiencing discourse: corporeal communicators and the embodiment of power

    Coole, Diana (2007) Experiencing discourse: corporeal communicators and the embodiment of power. British Journal of Politics and International Relations 9 (3), pp. 413-433. ISSN 1369-1481.

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    The importance of the body in social interactions has been largely ignored in political studies. Even when its significance is acknowledged, its material and experiential dimensions tend to be neglected. Commending a phenomenological sense of embodiment, I argue that this is a serious omission since there are many ways in which power operates on a corporeal level. I show in this article how the senses, although mediated by social and political structures, affect social encounters and I explore the body's efficacy in political life. Since democratic processes tend to rely on situations where face-to-face encounters occur, the way bodies affect communication is especially important for understanding normative phenomena like exclusion. Taking sexed and gendered bodies as an example, I show how visceral and stylistic aspects of embodiment help sustain inequalities through practices that often seem too trivial or mundane to identify as modes of power. I also use the concept of style to advance a critical and normative argument regarding political change.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2017 16:18
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:35


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