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CeMoRe & Sociology Seminar - Alan Beattie

Date: 4 March 2008 Time: 4.15pm

Alan Beattie, CeMoRe Hon. Visiting Fellow

'To make the frozen circumstances dance?'

choreographic metaphors in medical sociology and mobilities research.

While working in public health in academic and practice contexts, I have in the past few years noticed the increasing prominence of metaphors related to choreography and/or dance; the present paper is an attempt to initiate some debate about this. Four such metaphors are:

  1. 'inviting dinosaurs to dance' as a metaphor for reconfiguring health services;
  2. 'intricate ballets of survival' as a metaphor for the patterning of lifechances across populations and lifespans;
  3. 'ontological choreographies' as a metaphor for the shaping of clients' lifeworlds by clinical practices;
  4. 'I'm dancing as fast as I can' as a metaphor for individuals' ways of dealing with the contingencies of lifestyles.

Sometimes wordplay of this sort does not go beyond stylistic flourish or window-dressing or rhetorical conceit. But I want to 'follow the metaphors' in the belief that they offer some useful test-cases for mobilities research and theory:

  • arguments for 'new metaphors' as a basis for the transformation of medicine
  • calls for the application of 'mobile theorizing' to the sociology of medicine
  • appeals for new onto-epistemologies of material-&-semiotic entanglements
  • the search for a sociology that is itself fluid, mobile, de-territorialized
  • attempts to do social research in embodied, performative, carnivalesque ways•links between the 'politics of metaphoricity' and the 'politics of mobility'

Contact:

Who can attend: Anyone

 

Further information

Associated staff: John Urry

Organising departments and research centres: Centre for Mobilities Research (CeMoRe), Division of Health Research, Sociology

Keywords: Dance, Health, Performance, Sociology

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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YD
United Kingdom

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