Youth Radicalities: Corporal Performativities in Youth Cultures

Youth Radicalities: Corporal Performativities in Youth Cultures

The main objective of this research project is to analyse, in sociological terms, the characteristics of some current forms of youth culture structured around ‘radical' corporeity projects, that is, means of expressive and/or performative uses of the body that seek to exceed socially established physical limits and cultural conventions. Our perspective will be to discover the symbolical reasonings underlying their uses, personal meanings and social effects. Emphasis shall be placed on the use of tattoos and body piercing by young people. Despite of the «renaissance» and increasing social visibility of body modifications in western societies, namely in the Portuguese society, young people cultivating the taste for tattooing and body piercing in large extensions of their body have deserved more attention and analytical interest from Psychology and Psychiatry than from Sociology.

Estatuto: 
Participant entity
Financed: 
No
Entidades: 
Secretaria de Estado da Juventude
Keywords: 

Body; Youth; Tattoos; Bodypiercing

The main objective of this research project is to analyse, in sociological terms, the characteristics of some current forms of youth culture structured around ‘radical' corporeity projects, that is, means of expressive and/or performative uses of the body that seek to exceed socially established physical limits and cultural conventions. Our perspective will be to discover the symbolical reasonings underlying their uses, personal meanings and social effects. Emphasis shall be placed on the use of tattoos and body piercing by young people. Despite of the «renaissance» and increasing social visibility of body modifications in western societies, namely in the Portuguese society, young people cultivating the taste for tattooing and body piercing in large extensions of their body have deserved more attention and analytical interest from Psychology and Psychiatry than from Sociology.

Objectivos: 
 The purpose of this work is to undercover the meanings that these people associate with such body marks as tattoo and body piercing, to understand and to interpret sociologically the symbolic connotations of their practices, and to examine the role of body marking in the production and maintenance of identities and sociabilities. At the same time, this work intends to describe the social conditions of production of extensively marked bodies, and finally, to analyse the social effects of these tattooed and body-pierced young people in a society where permanent body transformations are received with prejudice and aversion (in particular those changes that revisit and evoke body-uses historically stigmatized), a society that demands to their actors, instead, a high level of identity plasticity and body malleability. To summarize, the goal of this study is to identify the different uses of extensive body marking practices in youth contexts, to reconstruct their multiple meanings and to analyse their potential effects. In methodological terms, we will interview young people heavily tattooed and body pierced.
State of the art: 
O tra&ccedil;o de 'radicalidade' atribu&iacute;do a algumas formas contempor&acirc;neas de cultura urbana juvenil, tem impl&iacute;cito a no&ccedil;&atilde;o de comportamento orientado por um princ&iacute;pio de exacerba&ccedil;&atilde;o, experimenta&ccedil;&atilde;o ou supera&ccedil;&atilde;o de normatividades, limites ou conven&ccedil;&otilde;es de ordem variada, em dom&iacute;nios sociais diversos, com recurso a diferentes estrat&eacute;gias e instrumentos, implicando sempre determinado tipo e grau de risco. <br />A assun&ccedil;&atilde;o social de comportamentos 'radicais' no contexto dessas formas culturais juvenis urbanas tem passado, em grande medida, pela mobiliza&ccedil;&atilde;o do corpo humano como instrumento expressivo e performativo central, um corpo que &eacute; socialmente percepcionado e vivido como recurso a explorar nas suas v&aacute;rias potencialidades pl&aacute;sticas, som&aacute;ticas e sensoriais, suscept&iacute;vel de ser moldado, experimentado, estendido ou escondido nos par&acirc;metros de um projecto individual (socialmente contextualizado) de constru&ccedil;&atilde;o e apresenta&ccedil;&atilde;o do self. <br />Os contornos operativos desse projecto remetem para pr&aacute;ticas que, sob modalidades diversas, pretendem a altera&ccedil;&atilde;o da apar&ecirc;ncia ou da forma do corpo, a supera&ccedil;&atilde;o das suas conven&ccedil;&otilde;es simb&oacute;licas, a experimenta&ccedil;&atilde;o das suas potencialidades sensoriais, a explora&ccedil;&atilde;o dos seus limites performativos, ou at&eacute; mesmo a extens&atilde;o para al&eacute;m dos seus limites propriamente fisiol&oacute;gicos. Deste modo, emergem novos modelos de corporeidade atravessados por uma ideia desnaturalizada do corpo, j&aacute; n&atilde;o como realidade pr&eacute;-definida, fixa e sagrada, mas como entidade vol&aacute;til, comp&oacute;sita, inacabada, at&eacute; imperfeita, suscept&iacute;vel de ser explorada sob diferentes modalidades, com sentidos culturais e efeitos sociais diferentes. <br />Actualmente esses modelos remetem, em algumas formas culturais juvenis, para vers&otilde;es exacerbadas da corporeidade, fora das normatividades (f&iacute;sicas e simb&oacute;licas) convencionais que regulam e disciplinam social e culturalmente os corpos, concedendo-lhes uma visibilidade marcada pela originalidade e pela diferen&ccedil;a, socialmente reconhecida como 'radical'.

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Coordenador 
Start Date: 
01/12/2001
End Date: 
01/12/2009
Duração: 
96 meses
Closed