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Intersubjectivity and Intercorporeality

Csordas, Thomas J. 2008. ‘Intersubjectivity and Intercorporeality’. Subjectivity 22 (1): 110–21.

Link: https://doi.org/10.1057/sub.2008.5.https://doi.org/10.1057/sub.2008.5

This paper begins to trace a conceptual progression from interaction as inherently meaningful to intersubjectivity, and from intersubjectivity as the co-presence of alter egos to intercorporeality. It is an exercise in cultural phenomenology insofar as ethnographic instances provide the concrete data for phenomenological reflection. In examining two instances in which the intercorporeal hinge between participants in an interaction is in the hands, and two in which this hinge is in the lips, I touch in varying degrees on elements of embodiment including language, gesture, touch, etiquette, alterity, spontaneity, body image, sonority, mimesis, and immediacy. The analysis supports the substantive conclusion that intersubjectivity is a concrete rather than an abstract relationship and that it is primary rather than a secondary achievement of isolated egos, as well as the methodological conclusion that cultural phenomenology is not bound by subjective idealism.