Oral Presentation Session
Reviewed by: Society for Psychological Anthropology
Of interest to: Practicing and Applied Anthropologists, Teachers of Anthropology in Community Colleges, Students
Primary Theme: Health
Secondary Theme: Identity and Equity
In recent years, growing anthropological attention has been paid on widening the perspective in understanding the relationship between human and the world. The ways we analyze human-world relationships influence the construction of personhood, the formation of cultural norms as we navigate through our surrounding environments across everyday and historical periods. Different theories provide various angles in discussing body-world relationships. Under certain circumstance, people are viewed as being coerced by the power structures they situate in. Ultimately, all these discussions point to the question of how will such body-world relationships and interactions influence our ways of understanding ourselves and the world around us.
This discussion is especially relevant now that we are facing rapid changes in both physical and sociocultural context changes with shifting power structures both on global and local scales. We are in urgent need to discuss the placement of human bodies under transitioning physical and social context, for the impacts of body-context interaction on subjective well-beings are significant. A growing literature pay special attention to the emotionality and feelings, embodiment, and the construction of interpersonal and person-context relationship through discussing various ways of body-world interactions, address this issue of opening up new ways in understanding body, emotion, and the experience of living through changing physical and social context. Breaking through the disciplinary boundaries, we intend to use the discussion of body-context relationship to bring in conversations between anthropology, psychology, cognitive science, philosophy and other disciplines in the analysis of human-world interactions, revealing challenges we face and potentials we can uncover in the manifestation of various social practices and expressions.
This panel considers the ways in which body interacts with the physical, social, cultural and interpersonal contexts and the impact of such interactions on subjective well-beings, especially psychological and mental health. Highlighting the temporal-spatial aspect of human experience in a specific socio-historical period, we would like to discuss issues addressing the changing of social context at micro- or macro- level and the opportunities and potential challenges it has on individuals. Why is it important to pay attention to the conversation between the body and the context? In what ways do people react to and participate in the construction of social (e.g. social relations, household arrangement, neighborhood) and physical contexts (such as living conditions and environments, space for social practice and activities, etc).? How are agencies exercised in the processes of adapting to the social context they find themselves in? How are emotions processed and expressed in such processes? How do people refer to past experiences and orient into the future? In what ways are people’s well-being positively or negatively influenced by body-context interactions? What can we learn from various forms of interactions? How can people create a better social context to alleviate suffering and optimize surviving and prosperity?
We invite submissions that consider the interaction between bodies and contexts via a broad range of ethnographic engagement with subjective well-being, adaptation and adjust to cultural and historical transitions, psychological and physical health, cognition, and human existence/development under environmental changes.