Writing on the Body?: Thinking Through Gendered Embodiment and Marked Flesh

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Cambridge Scholars, 2007 - Art - 242 pages
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This groundbreaking piece of work establishes a "position of embodiment" as an ethically salient epistemological and empirical strategy for understanding, representing, and experiencing gendered embodiment and marked flesh. Developing an embodied, feminist critique of the sociology of the body, the author integrates this position with some of the most recent developments in qualitative methodologies and creative research practices in order to engage with, and represent, women's experiences of body-marking. As such, the specific body practices which are addressed, "body modification" and "self-injury," are refigured in the context of a feminist, embodied position. This position of embodiment not only establishes a holistic, non-dualistic orientation from which to experience and explore gendered embodiment and body-marking practices, but in doing so, also highlights the limitations of normative dualistic, disembodied theories and methods which objectify and distance the very experiences they purport to explain.Overall, this exploration is a provoking, moving and often uncomfortable journey into the imperatives of gendered embodiment, abject corporeality, blood and pain, and the practices which mark the body and evoke and transform the gendered, embodied self.This is a courageous, beautifully written, evocative, and thought provoking book that takes the reader on an intimate journey into the misunderstood world of body marking practices. As part of the journey, Inckle provides a range of insights into the fluid, ambiguous, and complex forms of embodiment experienced by women over time. The reflexive stance she adopts throughout enables the reader to chart her emerging awareness of methodological dilemmas and the inherent tensions she experiences in trying to resolve them in relation to feminist ethical positions. As part of this process, she challenges the norms of knowledge production and dissolves the disciplinary boundaries that frame much of the current debate on embodiment and body marking practices. Inckle 's findings offer a powerful critique of dominant research perspectives that focus on the body and she makes a strong case for the development of a feminist-embodied-sociology in the future. As such, this book will be of immense interest to sociologists and psychologists with an interest in the body and the dynamics of embodiment as well as to scholars seeking to develop their understanding of key methodological issues.Professor Andrew C. Sparkes PhD Exeter UniversityThis book is based on one of the best methodological approaches I have come across. Supported by materials from a wide variety of disciplines, it is reflexively argued, and Dr Inckle charts new grounds in her trajectory from feminist methodologies to creative sociology, searching for new ways of producing knowledge and radically broadening the sociological research agenda to include 'stories that come out of the body'. I particularly like the way Dr Inckle develops feminist research methodologies, critiquing participatory approaches as often difficult to implement, and the fearless, yet highly problematic, positioning of the 'researching I' at the centre of the research process.Dr Ronit Lentin, Department of SociologyTrinity College Dublin

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Contents

Knowing Me Knowing You? Ethics and dilemmas of research
14
Chapter
44
Chapter Three
73
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Kay Inckle is a Research Associate at the Department of Sociology in Trinity College Dublin. Her primary academic interests include: gender and sexuality, the body and embodiment, and qualitative and creative research methodologies. She also writes fiction and has a passion for eighteenth and nineteenth century novels. She is a Reiki Master and practitioner, and lives in inner-city Dublin with her feline companion, Princess. Her publications include: (Forthcoming). Body of Evidence? Border Wars and Territory Skirmishes in the Corporeal Fixations of Sexual Identity Politics, in Jakob Hero (editor) Gender Query: Explorations of Identity, Expression, and Embodiment, Cambridge Scholars Publishing: Newcastle Upon Tyne. 2007. Carved in Flesh? Inscribing Body, Identity and Desire. The Journal of Lesbian Studies 11 (1-2) 2006. Tragic Heroines, Stinking Lilies and Fallen Women: Love and Desire in Kate O'Brien's As Music and Splendour. Irish Feminist Review 2: 56-73 2005: Who's Hurting Who? The Ethics of Engaging the Marked Body. Auto/biography 13 (3): 227-248.

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