The Body in Everyday Life

The Body in Everyday Life

The Body in Everyday Life

The Body in Everyday Life

Synopsis

This book sets out to explore how ordinary women, men and children talk about their bodies and how they experience them in a variety of situations. The subject is covered through four central themes -- physical and emotional bodies; illness and disability; gender; and aging.

Excerpt

If one thing is certain, it is that we all have a body. Everything we do we do with our bodies - when we think, speak, listen, eat, sleep, walk, relax, work and play we ‘use’ our bodies. Every aspect of our lives is therefore embodied. Sometimes we may be more aware of our bodies than others but from the moment we wake, we are to a greater or lesser extent, consciously or sub-consciously relying on our body. When we wake up in the morning we may automatically leave our beds and go to the bathroom and carry out our morning ‘bodily’ routines. Some of us, however, may do this less instinctively, and find that our body is cradled so comfortably within its ‘nest’ that extricating it from the bed becomes something of a challenge. This may be compounded by the fact that during the previous evening we poured large quantities of alcohol into our bodies and are then, in the morning, struck by the fact that our head is ‘pounding’, that we have a ‘raging’ thirst and a ‘rasping’ throat. For some ‘bodies’, perhaps those who are babies, or have certain forms of disability, getting out of bed might be something which requires the help of other ‘bodies’, be they those of parents, carers or partners, or perhaps other technical aids. Once we are ‘up’ we then prepare our body for public display, we probably groom it and select some clothes which might be appropriate for whatever we are doing on that particular day. We may look at our body in the mirror and notice bodily changes: yet another grey hair, the size of our stomach, a spot that has just appeared on our chin. Even the most minor bodily changes may, for some of us, impact upon how we feel about facing the day and all the social interactions that it may comprise. It may be that the spot on the chin occurred on the day of an interview, a wedding or an eighteenth birthday party. . .

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