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FractureAdventures of a broken body$
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Ann Oakley

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781861349378

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861349378.001.0001

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Our bodies, ourselves1

Our bodies, ourselves1

(p.11) 2 Our bodies, ourselves1

Ann Oakley

Policy Press

What is the body? A ‘concrete, material, animate organisation of flesh, organs, nerves, muscles, and skeletal structure’ , but one which only takes shape as part of a psychical and social order. Corporeal existence dominates everyday life — people eat, sleep, excrete, copulate, ambulate: one's being in the world depends utterly on the body's physicality. However, while the body is the most abiding presence in one's life, the main feature of this presence is actually absence. The problem with bodies is that they're both material objects and the site of human experience. This chapter argues that although one lives in one's bodies, one's social and personal identities are separate from them.

Keywords:   body, physicality, human experience, skeletal structure, social order

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