The Embodying Community

Part of the Postdisciplinary Studies in Discourse book series (PSDS)


The analysis in this chapter demonstrates the value of understanding the body as a grammatical term that interacts with the grammatical terms that represent the social world. An analysis of a conversational extract reveals a new image of the textually constituted body. Instead of a ‘self’ at the centre of a social world, protected from that world by the physical body, the image is of a social world that functions as a body. Comprised of complex networks of interrelated constituents, it mobilises itself to protect these constituents and thus protect the ‘social body’ itself. This new perspective encourages an understanding of social structure as a form of embodiment. It also enables a view of selves as constituents of a wider social body.


Social World Relational Clause Embed Clause Good Group Prepositional Phrase 
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.


  1. Halliday, M. A. K. (2014). Introduction to functional grammar. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  2. Irigaray, L. (1985). This sex which is not one. (trans: Porter, C.). Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Irigaray, L. (1991). The bodily encounter with the mother. In M. Whitford (Ed.), The Irigaray reader (pp. 34–46). London: Blackwell.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EnglishSheffield Hallam UniversitySheffieldUK

Personalised recommendations