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


  • Thorsten Berndt Universität Konstanz



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


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


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Author Biography

Thorsten Berndt, Universität Konstanz

Thorsten BERNDT ist Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter an der Universität Düsseldorf und arbeitet in dem DFG-Projekt "Recht als soziale Praxis" unter der Leitung von Prof. Dr. Martin MORLOK. Neben der Rechtssoziologie liegen seine Schwerpunkte in der Methodologie und den Methoden qualitativer Sozialforschung, insbesondere der hermeneutischen Wissenssoziologie und der Grounded Theory sowie in der sozialwissenschaftlichen Forschung zu den Themen der Gemeinschaft und Identität.



How to Cite

Berndt, T. (2003). Review Essay: "To Go to the Body." Advances in Phenomenological-sociological Identity Theory. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 4(3).