Sunday, October 02, 2016

Buzzword Watch: "The Body"

   Well...buzzphrase? Is 'buzzphrase' a word?
   Anyway, "the body," "bodies," "embodied"...they've all somehow become buzzwords in the crepusculum where political correctness and postpostmodernism intersect. I don't know why. I guess it comes from the feminist writing on this stuff (e.g. Susan Bordo) in which you see arguments to the effect that philosophy has identified the mind with the male and the body with the female and thought of the mind as good and the body as bad. So then you want to do your deconstruction of the distinctions because binaries bad, and then also possibly simultaneously keep the distinction and invert it so bodies/female good and mind/male bad and blah blah blah. Anyway, whatever the origin, the relevant sector of academia currently loooooooves "the body" and cognates. And it loooooooooooooves its buzzwords even more. So much so that the jargon almost seems to take on a life of its own. Deploying it seems to almost become an end in itself. Papers become vehicles for using the trendiest words. For example:
"Embodied Vulnerability in Large-Scale Technical Systems: Vulnerable Dam Bodies, Water Bodies, and Human Bodies."
(via NewRealPeerReview)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tend to liken the PC types to the poets in Plato's Republic. Many of them use this vague language (buzzwords/buzzphrases included), and don't care to make it explicit in what sense they are using them. This makes it at least somewhat evident to me that these people are merely *imitating* what has inspired them. They aren't channeling the logos, as it were, but rather they are repeating lines that they have picked up here and there.

For the context, Plato thought that all good art is divinely inspired; that is, it conforms to principles of reason and is used as a vehicle by which truths can be communicated using passion-eliciting imagery and prose.

It seems to me that a good portion of the PC bunch knows which terms are acceptable in their little communities, but they can't really articulate what they mean by them, nor do they really engage with the difficulties of their views/uses of the terms. It's an empty prose, if you will.

4:53 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Damn, A, that's a really interesting thought.

5:26 PM  

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