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date: 18 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides an overview of theories of embodiment drawn from the Western philosophical tradition and from white and black feminist theory. Challenging notions of a generic body, it traces how traditional accounts of embodiment substitute norms associated with a particular raced, classed, and gendered body for “the body.” Although white feminist theorists have demonstrated the androcentrism and the somatophobia of traditional accounts and offered important insights into the power relations of gendered embodiment, they have not fully addressed racialized embodiment and subjectivity. To overcome these lapses, the chapter turns to black feminist theory, poststructuralist analysis, and postcolonial theorization of necropower to demonstrate the importance of situating any analysis of embodiment in the context of concern with social justice.

Keywords: embodiment, subjectivity, somatophobia, biophilia, transcendence, discipline, normalization, performativity, necropolitics, necropower

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