Review Essay: "To Go to the Body." Advances in Phenomenological-sociological Identity Theory

Thorsten Berndt


Starting with a critique of conventional research on identity, which neglects the body as a fundamental entity of identity, GUGUTZER develops a theoretical framework from the works of PLESSNER, MERLEAU-PONTY, SCHMITZ and BOURDIEU. From this framework GUGUTZER has carried out an empirical study on the relationship between identity on the one hand, and "to have a body" ("Körper")/ "being a body" ("Leib") on the other, which is PLESSNER's basic differentiation. The study employs the methodology of Grounded Theory. Interviews were conducted with ballet dancers, monks and nuns, grounded and supplemented with observations. The results bring the complex of "being a body" ("Leib") and bodily sensation into a central relationship to identity, in which the use of the body is seen under the aspect of self-evaluation, memory, control and borderline situations. GUGUTZER's book is an important contribution to the phenomenological-sociological theory of identity.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0303101


personal identity; to have a body; being a body; phenomenological sociology; grounded theory


Copyright (c) 2003 Thorsten Berndt

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