Modernitet in på kroppen eller: kropp; känslor; sinnen som social arena

Karin Johannisson
Uppsala universitet, Sweden

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Ingår i: Kultur~Natur

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 40:3, s. 19-23

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Publicerad: 2009-10-26


ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


My focus; within a broader field of the history of emotions and the history of the senses; is on through what bodily strata; and what signs and symptoms modernity was (and is) literally embodied. Defining “modernity” I am following Marshall Berman’s definition: a kind of vital experience - “of space and time; of me and the other; of the possibilities and threats of life” – displaying itself at different points in time; but mostly with reference to the turn of the century 1900.

The aim is to show how intensified social change; on a collective and individual level (i.e. to the elite and bourgeoisie) is deeply related to embodiment. A new body was appearing; characterized by painfully sensitive senses. This modern; and hastily modernized body; was thus highly sensibilized; even “agonized” and phobic; demonstrating a broad spectrum of nervous and burn-out symptoms. Not only perceptions but the senses themselves; like emotions; are culturally flexible; illustrating a transgressive; versatile body.


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