Who Are You? I’m a Leg Crosser

madmensittingWho Are You?” asks members of Culture on the Edge to reflect
on one of their own many identities (whether national, gendered,
racial, familial, etc.), theorizing at the same time the self-
identification that they each chose to discuss.

Sometimes when students are in my office and I’m trying to draw their attention to the sometimes subtle ways in which we act ourselves into certain sorts of identities I’ll ask them to take a quick look at how we’re both sitting. There’s a good chance that I’m behind my desk, reclining a bit in my office chair, and seated like those guys above, and there’s an equally good chance that the student I’m talking to is not seated like this. And so drawing attention to how we’re both sitting — something that we’ve each done quite unselfconsciously, I’m sure — gives us a chance to think through identity as an empirically observable thing, as something we persuade ourselves and others that we have by repeatedly acting ourselves into it. Continue reading “Who Are You? I’m a Leg Crosser”

Don’t Fence Me In

georgereevesNeed more data on how interior states and so-called private dispositions are actually products of prior, social, publicly observable and thus contingent situations that can be manipulated? Then have a listen to this recent radio report on how such a seemingly simple thing as posture is linked to research subjects’ reports of feeling powerful and how the way we stand or sit affects our behavior (i.e., people driving more aggressively when sprawled out in a large automobile). Continue reading “Don’t Fence Me In”