Body memories and doing gender: Remembering the past and interpreting the present in order to change the future

Karen Davies

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceedingResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Narrative is one method of tapping individual and collective memory where human experience is organized into temporally meaningful episodes and where a "point" is often made. In research projects that I have carried out about working life, "body stories" are often spontaneously related in making a "point." These stories exemplify "doing gender"-that is how gendered relations (that revolve around equality/inequality, domination/suborclination, advantage/disadvantage) are actually created, recreated, contested and changed in everyday life. "Doing gender" is also linked to "body-reflexive practices"-the idea that the body is not only the object of symbolic practice and power but also participant. In other words, body-reflexive practices generate new courses of social conduct. In the second part of this paper, empirical examples taken from research projects on gender and professionals working in the health care and information technology (IT) sectors are provided to illustrate these concerns. The last example shows how a contestation of "doing gender" brings about change. More generally, one can say that without individual and collective memories, there would be no social change. Thus memory and the response that it invokes are pivotal in the unfolding of time.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTime and Memory ( The Study of Time)
PublisherBrill
Pages55-69
Volume12
ISBN (Print)978 90 04 15427 8
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Event12th Triennial Conference of the International-Society-for-the-Study-of-Time - Cambridge, MA, United States
Duration: 0001 Jan 2 → …

Publication series

Name
Volume12
ISSN (Print)0170-9704

Conference

Conference12th Triennial Conference of the International-Society-for-the-Study-of-Time
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityCambridge, MA
Period0001/01/02 → …

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)

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