This book explores both the embodied nature of social life and the social nature of human bodily life. It provides an accessible review of the contemporary social science debates on the body, and develops a coherent new perspective. Nick Crossley critically reviews the literature on mind and body, and also on the body and society. He draws on theoretical insights from the work of Gilbert Ryle, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, George Herbert Mead and Pierre Bourdieu, and shows how the work of these writers overlaps in interesting and important ways which, when combined, provide the basis for a persuasive and robust account of human embodiment. The Social Body provides a timely review of the theoretical approach
Habit, Incorporation and the Corporeal Schema
Having raised a number of doubts regarding Bourdieu's work in the last chapter I want to return, in this chapter, to the work of Merleau-Ponty. It is my contention that his conception of habit affords us the opportunity to deepen Bourdieu's account and, at the same time, address its main weaknesses. In addition, for the same reason, I will be introducing a number of ideas on habit from the work of Husserl and Schutz.
Merleau-Ponty's account of habit stems from his analysis of the ‘corporeal schema’ and it is necessary, therefore, that our exposition begins with this concept. Before doing so, however, it is important to situate Merleau-Ponty's account of habit more broadly. One of ...