Funny Vibe: Towards a Somaesthetic Approach to Anti-racist Education

  • David A. GrangerEmail author
Part of the Contemporary Philosophies and Theories in Education book series (COPT, volume 8)


This chapter begins by examining in a rigorous yet accessible way the architectonics of the human body and the intimate mind-body relationship as discussed in the varied but complimentary work of John Dewey, Michel Foucault, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. In looking at this relationship, it utilizes philosopher Richard Shusterman’s analytic somaesthetics (or aesthetics of the lived body, or “soma”) to expose the way racist ideology is covertly materialized and preserved through encoding in somatic norms or habits that typically elude critical consciousness and reflection. As bodily habits, these somatic norms can trigger, reinforce, and even heighten oppressive and discriminatory ways of thinking, feeling, and acting in firsthand encounters with racial “others.” After establishing the problem of the visceral grip of racism in this manner, the chapter turns to Shusterman’s pragmatic somaesthetics for possible means of revealing and reconstructing these bodily habits, highlighting their “felt” aesthetic dimensions in nondiscursive experience. The chapter closes by arguing for the necessity of building a somaesthetic component into antiracist pedagogy and offers some initial suggestions for doing so.


Aesthetic Dimension Racial Prejudice Racist Ideology Habitual Body Alexander Technique 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I would like to thank Richard Shusterman, Beth McCoy, Leigh O’Brien, Carmen James, Tyson E. Lewis and Megan Laverty for their support and encouragement with this project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ella Cline Shear School of EducationSUNY, GeneseoGeneseoUSA

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