This review paper examines some of the main theoretical influences prompting a reappreciation of the importance of the body and how it may be conceived as relevant to information studies (IS). It starts by placing this increased recognition of the body in its historical and social context. It then examines, in turn, how the body is viewed in the phenomenology of Merleau-Ponty; practice theory; embodied cognition; and sensory studies. Existing and potential influences in information studies are discussed. Most work that reexamines the place of the body reflects the influence of Merleau-Ponty, but he has had relatively little direct impact on IS. Practice theory does deal with the body, and this has already been picked up quite strongly in IS. Work in the area of embodied cognition has the potential to fundamentally change our view of the relation of the mind and the body, and information as an aspect of that relation. Sensory studies offers a powerful framework for examining the cultural shaping of the senses as a source of information. The implications of the bodily turn for methodology are briefly discussed.


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pp. 223-238
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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