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date: 28 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines two stories that foreground significant practices of embodiment: violence and altruism. The stories tackle the notions of violent and altruistic bodies, and both seem to have clear ethical implications. They are interpreted through two theoretical interests that are central to studies of the body: habitus and networks. The first story is from Norbert Elias, who has published two major works: The Civilizing Process (1984) and The Germans (1996). The article considers how Pierre Bourdieu expands and specifies Elias’s conceptualization of habitus and embodiment, and more specifically his views regarding the hierarchy of positions underlying habitus. It also discusses Michel Foucault’s explanation as to why people play truth games. Finally, it looks at the second story, which involves kidney transplant.

Keywords: Embodiment, Violence, Altruism, Habitus, Networks, Norbert Elias, Pierre Bourdieu, Michel Foucault, truth games, kidney transplant

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