▪ Abstract 

During the past twenty years the human body evolved from a rather marginal social fact into a notion of central concern to current social and cultural anthropology. But recent studies question the idea of the body as a given physical entity. They focus on the experience or threat of finiteness, limitation, and vulnerability and also raise doubts regarding the individuality of the self: Instead they emphasize its fragmentary character and focus on the embodied uncertainties (such as hybridity or irony) of human existence. In three main sections (respectively, on the social body, embodiment, and subjectivity) this review eclectically explores an anthropological debate that also betrays a more generalized and rising concern in Western society with bodiliness and bodily appearance. From the discussion, the body emerges as a changing relationship that, at the same time, unfolds as an ethical horizon—and challenge—for the (un)making of self, identity, and belonging.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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