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Corpo em risco

The body at risk
[journal article]

Guzzo, Marina

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Please use the following Persistent Identifier (PID) to cite this document:http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-64998

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Abstract This article looks at the notion of 'risk' in the construction of the body as a spectacle. Its specific focus is on the body of the aerial acrobat and the production of an aesthetic of risk in the circus. The aim of the article is to understand the ways in which the illusion of risk is created in the circus, and how this fits into the framework of adventure-risk in society at large. In understanding how risk is created, we shall see that every risk has its counterpart in strategies of safety. We shall see that modernity's quest for thrills is linked to its concern for means of ensuring safety, though technologies of prevention, insurance cover, and rigorous training programs to ensure the technically perfect execution of skills. It is this concern for security which, paradoxically, makes an aesthetics of risk meaningful. Our research examines the point at which the aesthetics of risk is embodied in the body of the acrobat. We use a variety of research methods, including observation, field diaries, photography, image-searches, interviews and documents in the public domain. The questions we address are the following: what are the bodily risks of acrobatic shows? How are such risks used? How is it that sensitivity to bodily practices has changed so much? Our analytic path starts by contextualizing the notion of risk, then proceeds to characterize the spectacle of the circus, and continues through an account of the technical aspects of acrobatic skill. We arrive ultimately at our end-point: the 'aerial acrobat', which, in embodying the illusion of risk and the transcendence of human limits, stands as an example of contemporary subjectivity.
Classification General Sociology, Basic Research, General Concepts and History of Sociology, Sociological Theories; Cultural Sociology, Sociology of Art, Sociology of Literature
Free Keywords Risk; Human Body; Safety; Aesthetics; Popular Culture; Athletes; Subjectivity; Security
Document language Spanish
Publication Year 2004
Page/Pages p. 56-65
Journal Athenea Digital: Revista de Pensamiento e Investigacion Social (2004) 6
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications