American anthropology, specially medical anthropology seems to conceptualize the body in ways that it makes it a medium and point of convergence where experience takes place. Pain, suffering and illness all take central stage on the body, even though experience transcends it more than often. I would imagine that is especially particular to illness and our relationships with our health systems.
What makes even more interesting, is that anthropology has brought back historic notions of the body to IT; I mean, through critical analysis of social and cultural theory, the discipline has been able to bring back the factors and variables that many seem to ignore about the body and experience that deal with the body.
We forget that the body has a history and through it, has had different conceptualizations of it. The body of yesteryear is nothing like the body of nowadays. Sexuality, gender, age, aesthetics, desirability, all take place somewhat around the body, but it doesn’t stop there; there is a continuum that seeks to expand the body and invade sociality and collective experience.
I was just thinking about this as I just completed my first week keeping a food diary, as I’m trying to lose weight, and I already lost 3 pounds.
P.S. Some of what I wrote is heavily influenced on a lot of Medical Anthropology literature. I don’t take credit for being original about this, just theorizing…
P.S.S Main credits of influence go to Nancy Scheper-Hughes, Byron Good, Veena Das, Margaret Lock and Donna Haraway