The Social Body

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


This chapter proposes that imagining the social world as a body makes it possible to reimagine the relationships between the human body and the social world. It reveals the metaphor of the ‘social body’ that Foucault draws upon repeatedly in Discipline and Punish. Foucault’s Panopticon provides an image of the social body as incorporating human bodies, then forcing them to produce. There is another, less obvious assumption at work in Foucault’s account, which is that the human body, unchecked, is dangerous to the social body. This chapter introduces the idea that what is dangerous might also be understood as potentially transformative.


Social World Executive Centre Capitalist System Surplus Power Social Body 
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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EnglishSheffield Hallam UniversitySheffieldUK

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