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Response to [Embodied space(s)] by Low


This paper brings up the topic of embodied space – “the location where human experience and consciousness takes on material and spatial form”. The author draws previous and historical insight toward the the body per se, the body space and further the Proxemics theory and tries to lead summarize them toward the theme of ’embodied space’. Further the author also mentions linguistics-related aspects.


  • “The concept of embodied space, … underscoring the importance of the body as a physical and biological entity, lived experience, and a center of agency, a location for speaking and acting on the world.”
  • “Bryan Turner (1984) … cautioned that biological reductionism keeps us from focusing on the ways in which the body is also inherently social and cultural … even this biological individuality is relative, depending on other social beings. Thus, the body is best conceived as a multiplicity: the ‘two bodies’ of the social and physical (Douglas, 1970)…”;
  • “These ethnographies of body spaces do not theorize the body, per se, but utilize it as a spatial meaphor and representational space.”
  • “Edward Casey (2001) contended that the emergence of place as a productive notion only occurs with the recogintoin of the importance of the body in spatial orientation and ordinary perception.”
  • “Yet as early as 1955, Irving Hallowell identified cultural factors in spatial orientation, affirming that spatial schema are basic to human orientation, a position from which to view the world, and a symbolic means of becoming oriented in a spatial world that transcends personal experience”
  • “Edward Hall (1966, 1973) is best known for studying the influence of culture on spatial perception and behavior, establishing the field of proxemics, the study of people’s use of  space as an aspect of culture… human have an innate distancing mechanism, modified by culture, that helps to regulate contact in social situations”
  • “Miles Richardson (1982, 1984) addressed how body experience and perception become material by considering how we transform experience to symbol and then remake experience into an object, such as an artifact, a gesture, or a word.”



About Xiang 'Anthony' Chen

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