Corporeal Whatever II

Matthew Hill (mhill@WATARTS.UWATERLOO.CA)
Tue, 18 Jan 1994 09:34:08 -0500

Ha- I think I just figured out why so many duplicate messages get sent-
but enough of this technical chit chat.

On Mon, 17 Jan 1994, James G. Carrier wrote:

> Just to be picky ...
> 1. Corporeal enculturation is a bit of a mouthful, especially given that
> the museum exhibit is intended (if memory serves) for school-age children. So
> long as the intended audience is not professional anthropologists, the
> pedagogic element of the exhibit ought to be considered.
> 2. It implies that the corpus is not cultural to begin with. Do you
> really want to nail our (or your) colors on the old nature vs culture mast
> once more?

re. point 1- I will admit that the size of the label was forcing my
tongue fairly firmly into my cheek when I made that suggestion.
How about 'Taming the Wild Body' (implied grin)

re 2. It seems to me that what ever the demerits of the
nature vs culture contrast in 'sophisticated theory', it does
commonly occur in 'emic theory', 'folk models', whatever. And,
I suspect that the notion that alterations of the body are
either/both emblematic or intrinsic to full cultural
encorporation of the individual is fairly wide-spread.
That said, I find it hard to support the argument that only that is
going on in all cases of whatever the phenomenon we are discussing
is to be called.
Certainly it seems that much in contemporary western culture, such
as 'Prison Tattoos' (subject of the Anthro Today paper) or the
shock value stuff of Punk is an explicit attempt to mark the
bearer as untamed, outside of the mainstream (or inside some eddy).
My own reference to Sampson is probably ass-backwards, as I think
about it, since his haircut not his long hair seems to be cultural
Oh well, is anything without internal contradiction really interesting?

Matthew Hill