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Ethics and embodiment in racialised, ethnicised and sexualised practice

Lim, Jason Kian Yiap; (2003) Ethics and embodiment in racialised, ethnicised and sexualised practice. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The research considers practices in night-time leisure spaces, such as bars, pubs and nightclubs, in London. Through participant observation in conjunction with group and individual interviews, I engage with the emergence of race, ethnicity, sexuality and gender as they are specifically enacted in everyday practices. I investigate how sociable practice and sexualised affect and desire are organised to recuperate specific distributions of bodily social relations. Yet, although such practices are riven with an embodied social memory - the immanence of machinic formations of power - desire can always overspill these constraints, as the practical negotiation of social situations is always simultaneously indeterminate. Through practices such as dancing, drinking, gossip and banter an embodied memory specifying which bodies can desire which other bodies becomes performatively instantiated. Which bodies are attractive, and who can desire whom, are emergent properties of how a body is encountered as simultaneously and specifically racialised and sexualised. Yet, this memory only becomes specifically encountered as it is modulated and enacted by bodily styles and rhythms. Expressive practices can perform an ordering, a territorialisation that reverberates with powerful forms of organisation. Yet, to become expressive can also open up new arrangements between bodies. My research also considers the influence of racialised, ethnicised, gendered and sexualised affect upon the relations that can be enacted between differently embodied individuals within friendship groups in informal and leisure situations. The ethical questions to arise from this analysis surround how bodies might increase their affects or the ways in which they relate to and connect with others. Friendship is explored as an ethical project in which the pleasurable arts of becoming-sociable together can cultivate an accommodation with the bounds of Desire, or even an exploration of a more nomadic friendship ethos.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Ethics and embodiment in racialised, ethnicised and sexualised practice
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10103870
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