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Max Weber och kroppens sociologi

Alkvist, Lars-Erik LU (2004)
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Kroppen som socialt fenomen har inte varite ett dcentralt tema inom sociologin. Detta försöker Lars-Erik Alkvist komma till rätta med, på grundval av en omläsning av Max Webers sociologi utifrån temat kroppens sociologi. Författaren menar att det hos Weber finns en dold med dock närvarande förståelse av kroppens sociala sammanhang. Men Webers förståelse av kroppen sitter fast i ett dualistiskt och naturalistiskt tänkande. Kroppen betraktas som ett objekt som kontrolleras och formas av medvetandet och de strukturella sammanhangen.
Abstract
This thesis is about the social body in sociology, represented by the classical sociologist Max Weber. Traditional sociology has not taken the body into account. The body has been considered to belong to the realm of the natural sciences. Sociology has seen the body merely as an instrument or a tool for social action. The mind/body dichotomy, homo duplex, prevails in sociology. The purpose of this investigation is to show that Weber does not totally neglect the social body. I claim that the body is “absent but present” in Weber’s texts. The above-mentioned view that the body is ignored by sociology must, in other words, be modified. I claim that Weber’s texts imply a conception, although rudimentary, of the social body. This conception... (More)
This thesis is about the social body in sociology, represented by the classical sociologist Max Weber. Traditional sociology has not taken the body into account. The body has been considered to belong to the realm of the natural sciences. Sociology has seen the body merely as an instrument or a tool for social action. The mind/body dichotomy, homo duplex, prevails in sociology. The purpose of this investigation is to show that Weber does not totally neglect the social body. I claim that the body is “absent but present” in Weber’s texts. The above-mentioned view that the body is ignored by sociology must, in other words, be modified. I claim that Weber’s texts imply a conception, although rudimentary, of the social body. This conception co-exists, however, with Weber’s tendency to see the body as a natural object. This is in accordance with the general picture of the way sociology treats the body. To examine the question of the social body I turn to philosophy. I believe that some philosophers have been interested in viewing the body as a social rather than a natural object. Plato, René Descartes, Friedrich Nietzsche, Immanuel Kant and finally Maurice Merleau-Ponty have all tried to come to terms with the relationship between the mind and the body. The above-mentioned philosophers, with the exception of Kant, are all therefore concerned with the body as more than simply a biological organism. They try to reconcile the dualistic difference between body and mind. They are, however, mainly concerned with finding a philosophical answer to how mankind can attain knowledge about the object. They are concerned with epistemology and ontology. Sociology, on the other hand, is more concrete and its corresponding concepts are “subject” and “structure”. Sociology fills these concepts with a more non-epistemological and ontological content. He has been described as a subjective sociologist or a micro sociologist, but I claim that this does not give the whole picture. Weber also sees individual intentions and purposes as determined by objective and structural constraints. I divide the works of Weber into two parts. I have named the subjectivist approach “the empowered individual”. Here Weber works at the level of the individual subject. He focuses on the subject’s own experience. The ethically shaped, and therefore systematically self-controlled, body becomes a vehicle for being in the world. The body is subjected to the governing ascetic ethic. The feelings and desires of the body become rationalised into a method and a system. In this way a far-reaching rational discipline is created, a so called “ethical conduct of life is created”. In the writings of Weber the “conduct in life” is described by the concept “habitus”. However, Weber is classical in the sense that he considers habitus as a mental attitude. Other works by Weber include a discussion of the constraining structural surroundings, but Weber prefers to use the concept “life orders” rather than “structures”. Weber describes a number of different life orders which he says form the specific cultural habits adopted by individuals in society. (Less)
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author
opponent
  • Eichberg, Henning
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Sociology, mental attitude, lifeorders, empowered, Max Weber, philosophy, Sociology of the body, dualism, Sociologi
pages
271 pages
publisher
Department of Sociology, Lund University
defense location
Pangea, Geologiska institutionen
defense date
2004-09-24 13:15
ISSN
1102-4712
ISBN
91-7267-178-5
language
Swedish
LU publication?
yes
id
bf742bca-dda7-4109-814d-8ae7a4741a55 (old id 21510)
date added to LUP
2007-05-26 15:42:34
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:44:55
@phdthesis{bf742bca-dda7-4109-814d-8ae7a4741a55,
  abstract     = {This thesis is about the social body in sociology, represented by the classical sociologist Max Weber. Traditional sociology has not taken the body into account. The body has been considered to belong to the realm of the natural sciences. Sociology has seen the body merely as an instrument or a tool for social action. The mind/body dichotomy, homo duplex, prevails in sociology. The purpose of this investigation is to show that Weber does not totally neglect the social body. I claim that the body is “absent but present” in Weber’s texts. The above-mentioned view that the body is ignored by sociology must, in other words, be modified. I claim that Weber’s texts imply a conception, although rudimentary, of the social body. This conception co-exists, however, with Weber’s tendency to see the body as a natural object. This is in accordance with the general picture of the way sociology treats the body. To examine the question of the social body I turn to philosophy. I believe that some philosophers have been interested in viewing the body as a social rather than a natural object. Plato, René Descartes, Friedrich Nietzsche, Immanuel Kant and finally Maurice Merleau-Ponty have all tried to come to terms with the relationship between the mind and the body. The above-mentioned philosophers, with the exception of Kant, are all therefore concerned with the body as more than simply a biological organism. They try to reconcile the dualistic difference between body and mind. They are, however, mainly concerned with finding a philosophical answer to how mankind can attain knowledge about the object. They are concerned with epistemology and ontology. Sociology, on the other hand, is more concrete and its corresponding concepts are “subject” and “structure”. Sociology fills these concepts with a more non-epistemological and ontological content. He has been described as a subjective sociologist or a micro sociologist, but I claim that this does not give the whole picture. Weber also sees individual intentions and purposes as determined by objective and structural constraints. I divide the works of Weber into two parts. I have named the subjectivist approach “the empowered individual”. Here Weber works at the level of the individual subject. He focuses on the subject’s own experience. The ethically shaped, and therefore systematically self-controlled, body becomes a vehicle for being in the world. The body is subjected to the governing ascetic ethic. The feelings and desires of the body become rationalised into a method and a system. In this way a far-reaching rational discipline is created, a so called “ethical conduct of life is created”. In the writings of Weber the “conduct in life” is described by the concept “habitus”. However, Weber is classical in the sense that he considers habitus as a mental attitude. Other works by Weber include a discussion of the constraining structural surroundings, but Weber prefers to use the concept “life orders” rather than “structures”. Weber describes a number of different life orders which he says form the specific cultural habits adopted by individuals in society.},
  author       = {Alkvist, Lars-Erik},
  isbn         = {91-7267-178-5},
  issn         = {1102-4712},
  keyword      = {Sociology,mental attitude,lifeorders,empowered,Max Weber,philosophy,Sociology of the body,dualism,Sociologi},
  language     = {swe},
  pages        = {271},
  publisher    = {Department of Sociology, Lund University},
  school       = {Lund University},
  title        = {Max Weber och kroppens sociologi},
  year         = {2004},
}