Qualitative Sociology

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 27–31 | Cite as

The Need for More “Carnal”

  • Randol Contreras


Loïc Wacquant’s provocative call for a flesh and blood sociology holds promise for ethnographers willing to engage their bodies while doing research. Specifically, it allows ethnographies to experience the same bodily and emotional sensations as their study participants, which then improves their understanding of how bodily crafts inform human life. However, a “carnal” approach may encounter three obstacles: first, mainstream researchers who are trained in traditional observational methods and writing; second, the time, effort, and thought needed to methodologically link the researcher’s body to the research; and third, the fear of ethnographers wanting to avoid being labeled as “narcissistic” and “unscientific.”


Carnal Habitus Ethnography Participant observation Autoethnography Qualitative methods Body 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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