COVID-19 has prompted a renewed awareness of how we use our bodies under “normal” circumstances. COVID-19 is also demanding that we change our bodily behaviors to prevent the spread of the pandemic. This entails both transforming existing techniques and learning new ones. These hygienic practices are all part of a particular set of bodily techniques that Marcel Mauss called “care of the body,” or prescribed, everyday physical acts that serve to maintain the well-being of individuals and to affirm their belonging within broader social communities.
Simon (0:48) kicks off this panel by asking us about mediocrity. He reflects on his fieldwork in Iran, where he observed – particularly in the education sphere - that there was a very small difference between being ‘perfect’ and being a ‘failure’. “In Australia we…have this kind of uncomfortable-ness, I think, with excellence and the … Continue reading Ep. #41: Mediocrity, Confusing Cake, Public Accountability & Gift Reciprocity: This month on TFS
I was lucky to have Mexican friends to put me up, ferry me around, shower me with food and attention, without asking for a thing in return. It wasn’t long, however, before their hospitality began to overwhelm me. I felt compelled to return the generosity in whatever meagre way I could – and hamstrung by my inability to do so.