Good Example Of Essay On Techniques Of The Body
Techniques of the body refer to the various uses we put our bodies to as members of varying societies and the differences that exist in the techniques of swimming, walking, standing, sleeping, sitting as well as other biological functions. The body is the first and the most natural technical object of man (Mauss, p. 461). Moreover, the body of a man is the most technical means of achieving tasks, be they biological, mechanical, or physical. Basically, a technique refers to an action that is traditional and effective (Crossley, p. 2). Tradition is necessary for existence and transmission of a technique. A man is distinguishable from an animal because he can transmit a technique and more so by oral means.
Summary of the story
The notion of the techniques of body is guided by two principles; sex and age. These two principles guide how these techniques are divided. There are observed differences between body techniques in both sexes. There is a distinct difference in both the two sexes regarding the moving body vis a vis moving objects. For example, in a throwing of a stone exercise, a man will throw it strongly and in a horizontal plane. On the other hand, a woman will most likely throw it weakly and in a vertical plane. The author believes the difference is a result of different instruction to both men and women as well as due to psychological and biological differences (Mauss, 462).
Moreover, age is the second principle that can be used to categorize techniques of the body. In children, squatting is normal while to adults, it is not. The posture has lost importance over the years because of changes in physiology, sociology or psychological aspects of people. It is true to believe that particular forms of tendons and bones give rise to particular forms of repose and posture (Mauss, p.464)
Moreover, techniques of the body can be classified according to the results of training. Training is done so that a person can achieve a particular level of efficiency. Therefore, techniques normally stem from human training. Training result in people who have knowledge of what they are up to, and who possess certain cleverness or craft that indicate their competence at something.
Additionally, techniques of the body can be taught and hence they can be classified according to the nature of this training and education. The various modes of training, modes of life or manners can be studied under various grounds. The first ground is by is examining the biographical list of body techniques. The several techniques of the body that fall under this list include techniques of obstetrics and birth, of infancy, adolescence, and of adult life. The techniques of birth and obstetrics differ from one society to another. There exists techniques of giving birth both for the mother and the obstetricians, of cutting the umbilical cord, of holding the baby, and lastly of providing care to the child. Moreover, various techniques apply to ensure the child born conforms to the expectations of society. Techniques of infancy include rearing and feeding of children, weaning and the body movements the weaned child is introduced to. On the other hand, the techniques of adolescence involve initiation. During adolescence, there is a widespread imparting of skills and knowledge to the pubescent kids. Around puberty age, the African adolescent boy will receive a lot of education (Mair, p. 8) It is during the moment of adolescence that men and women learn the particular techniques of the body that will guide their adult life (Mauss, p. 466).
Moreover, the techniques of adult life border on how adults sleep, how they wake up, and how they rest. Other techniques acquired in adulthood include techniques of movement for example walking, climbing and trampling, jumping, swimming, and running. These techniques have acquired notable biological effects. In addition to these techniques, there are those concerned with the care of the body. They include washing, rubbing, brushing of the mouth, and those concerned with hygiene in the natural needs. Additionally, there are specific techniques used in consumption of foods such as drinking, eating using a knife or a fork just to mention a few (Mauss 472). All these techniques are acquired because, in each society, people are expected to learn how to do particular things in essentially all conditions. In effect, this will make the social life of people easily navigable.
An example of a technique of the body from my experience that contradicts the author’s ideas is the techniques of care of the body. Normally, people will take care of their mouths by brushing teeth using toothpaste on a toothbrush (Pullen et al, n.p). The author says that knowing how to spit is a technique of caring for the body. This untrue because in most societies spitting is considered crude and disgusting. To have a mouth that smells good; people have to brush their mouths constantly using a toothbrush and toothpaste.
Crossley, Nick. "Mapping reflexive body techniques: On body modification and maintenance." Body & Society 11.1 (2005): 1-35.
Mauss, Marcel. 'Techniques of the body ', Economy and Society, 2.19 (1973).
Mair, Lucy. African societies. CUP Archive, 1974.
Pullen, John H., Rabinder Singh, and Kathryn A. Phillips. "Mouthwash." U.S. Patent No. 5,328,682. 12 Jul. 1994