Cartesian Dualism

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To begin the analysis of a body as a cultural text, it is important to realise the various concepts that come into play when defining what constitutes a “body” beyond the merely physical and biological. A key concept in this is the theory of social constructionism, highlighted by theorist Chris Shilling and defined as “an umbrella term used to define the views that suggest that the body is somehow shaped, constrained and even invented by society” (Shilling, p. 62 : 1993). The idea of constructionism stands in opposition to that of naturalistic body, which would assume that the body is defined socially purely by evolutionary and biologically-led purposes. Further in his work, Shilling also states that “to achieve an adequate analysis of the…show more content…
A feeling body “presents a challenge to the kind of Cartesian dualism that produces the body as a mere physical substance. The affective body is considered permeable to the ‘outside’ so that the very distinction between the inside and the outside as fixed and absolute is put into question” (Blackman, p. 10 : 2008). With that in mind, it is clear that the bodies of the women analysed in this essay, in many ways, are affected by their environmental stimuli – from Moss’ emulation of the addict “look” due to its positive responses attached to “coolness” to Winehouse’s troubled relationship with the media. It is important to note as well, that the body of any addict could be considered a feeling body due to its permeability to the way they are perceived in society (for example the contrast between a “functioning addict” and a “crackhead”). As stated by professor Alfred R. Lindesmith, “It has frequently been said that the drug user “cannot be cured if he doesn’t want to be cured”; but this appears to beg the question, for it is the very essence of addiction that the victim desires to use the drug - and also at \the same time desires to be free of it.” (Lindesmith, p. 593 :
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