HISTORICKÁ SOCIOLOGIE

HISTORICKÁ SOCIOLOGIE

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HISTORICKÁ SOCIOLOGIE, Vol 12 No 1 (2020), 49–63

Body-hacking: On the Relationship between People and Material Entities in the Practice of Technological Body Modifications

Jana Kadlecová

DOI: https://doi.org/10.14712/23363525.2020.4
zveřejněno: 12. 05. 2020

Abstract

The text focuses on a critical reflection on research conducted among Czech bodyhackers and, in general, on the possibilities and limitations of the conceptualization of the body, which is a product of technohuman interconnections, in socialscientific research. This issue logically directs me towards theoretical and conceptual foundations of symmetrical anthropology taking into account the role of nonhuman actors and the materiality of the world (based on the works of Bruno Latour, John Law, etc.) which constitute the core of the text. This study critically reflects upon the traditional foundations of social sciences that deal with an individual’s subjective perspective when studying corporeality. This leads to a reproduction of the dichotomy of subject/object and body/mind which are revealed as restrictive in the research of technological modifications and cybercorporeality in general and require a clear definition of the concepts of the “body” and “technologies” that are, however, limiting from the point of view of the lived experience of their users. The question arises of where the human body ends and technologies begin, whether the human body in its “natural” state has a certain integrity. This approach is demonstrated in the text on the case of Czech body-hackers, the NFC chip users.

Klíčová slova: Body-hacking; corporeality; technology; body modifications; symmetrical anthropology; posthumanism; non-human actors

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