By Emmanuelle Tulle (auth.)
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Extra info for Ageing, the Body and Social Change: Running in Later Life
In the first theme, athletes embody themselves with musculature and body shapes which have emerged from maximising positive physical characteristics or taming weak points. Aalten (1997) notes that although most bodies can be moulded to the requirements of ballet, not all bodies have acceptable physical and, importantly, aesthetic qualities for inclusion into the elite. Thus through training, the experience of pain, the management of injuries and performance, athletes come to read and sense their bodies’ potential for success.
Thus older bodies, sick bodies, disabled bodies and female bodies are understood within discourses which constitute them as inferior, reducible to their biological characteristics (Katz 1997) and they may set in motion a range of interventions designed to normalise them. This process of normalisation does not necessarily lead to the effacement of their transgressiveness, because the latter is constitutive of their nature, but to the confirmation of their difference. The passive body Feminist accounts of the body have long given primacy to the passivity and othering of the female body (Brook 1999).
According to Alexander (1995), fields are not given enough autonomy – they are merely microcosms of the capitalist system. This denies the complexity and pluralism of late modern capitalist societies. Alexander proposes that fields should be viewed as both autonomous and interdependent. This, he claims, would allow for contradictions between systems, from which social change might emerge. As far as Bourdieu’s conception of the body is concerned, there are also held to be weaknesses. According to Alexander (1995), Bourdieu’s body is a site of practice, rather than a potential trigger for action or a potential agent of change.
Ageing, the Body and Social Change: Running in Later Life by Emmanuelle Tulle (auth.)