Names, Bodies and Identities
journal contributionposted on 01.05.2015, 10:04 by Jane Pilcher
In this article, I argue that the emerging field of the sociology of naming should recognize the fundamental importance of bodies in the range of social practices through which individuals come to have, and to be identified by, names. I introduce the concept of ‘embodied named identity’ to describe the outcome of identificatory practices of naming fundamentally orientated around and rooted in the body. I argue that the concept addresses the neglect of the body within the sociology of names and the neglect of naming within both the sociology of identity and in the sociology of the body. In my elaboration of the value of the concept of embodied named identity for enhancing sociological understanding, I focus on evidence on naming practices in relation to sexed and gendered bodies, racialized and ethnic bodies, bodies, nicknames and characterisation, ‘nameless’ bodies and ‘body-less’ names.