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date: 19 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Embodied cognition theory has become central to contemporary sociologists who theorize and empirically study the mechanics of thinking. Those applying this approach to thought treat meaning-making as quite distinct from the processes described in abstract representational models of cognition. Moving beyond sole considerations of neural operations, embodied cognition theory views meaning-making as deeply entwined in the body’s experience with surrounding environments. To fully unpack the importance of this shift in studying thought, this chapter begins by exploring the roots of embodied cognition theory; it then traces its rather recent entry into the sociological literature. The chapter moves on to summarize the growing number of empirical sociological works informed by embodied cognition theory, and it touches on the methodological debates surrounding work in this area. The chapter concludes by suggesting ways in which sociology can forward the embodied cognition project.

Keywords: cognition, culture, body, contextual variations, theory

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