In this incisive and truly impressive book, Ian Burkitt critically addresses the dualism between mind and body, thought and emotion, rationality and irrationality, and the mental and the material, which haunt the post-Cartesian world. Drawing on the work of contemporary social theorists and feminist writers, he argues that thought and the sense of being a person is inseparable from bodily practices within social relations, even though such active experience may be abstracted and expanded upon through the use of symbols. Overcoming classic dualisms in social thought, Burkitt argues that bodies are not purely the constructs of discourses of power: they are also productive, communicative, and invested with powerful capacities for chang

Social Relations, Embodiment and Emotions

Social relations, embodiment and emotions

In recent years the subject of the emotions has come more to the attention of social scientists, largely because of the emphasis on embodiment in social theory and because of the feminist challenge to the dualism of mind and body, in which the domination of women involves their equation with the bodily and emotional sphere. Here, I offer my own contribution to the debate around the emotions, which sets out a relational and embodied understanding of the emotions that elaborates upon my own previous work (Burkitt, 1991) and also Kenneth J. Gergen's (1994a, 1995). It is this relational method that I hope will take us forward in developing a multidimensional approach to the emotions in which ...

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