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Spatiality, embodiment and hazards encountered in the making of pots

  • Economics
  • Medicine


The aim is to relate embodiment to more distant spatiality. The vehicle is an ethnographic study in one pottery factory over a total of two and a half years of how potters encounter hazards to health and safety at work. Potters' experiences of the body and space differ from the body and space as imagined by medicine, the law and capital. Though these experiences are relatively coherent, in the wider context they carry little legitimacy and are seldom expressed. Each of three traditions, that of Marx, represented by H. Lefebvre, that of Weber and also Foucault, by B. Turner and that of Durkheim, by M. Douglas, provides a template for organising a different theme in the field notes: (1) the dialectic of real, imagined and lived spatialities, (2) the production of varied embodiment in employment and (3) the symbolic meanings of lived space. A link is made between spatiality and embodiment by considering what happens when the rhythms of manual work break down and ill-health or injury comes about. This particular link is given theoretical expression by developing parallels between Lefebvre's dialectic of spatiality and the dialectic of disease, illness and sickness, as discussed by Young and Frankenberg.

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