Losing social space: Phenomenological disruptions of spatiality and embodiment in Moebius Syndrome and Schizophrenia

In Jack Reynolds & Ricky Sebold (eds.), Phenomenology and Science. Palgracve Macmillan (forthcoming)
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We argue that a phenomenological approach to social space, as well as its relation to embodiment and affectivity, is crucial for understanding how the social world shows up as social in the first place—that is, as affording different forms of sharing, connection, and relatedness. We explore this idea by considering two cases where social space is experientially disrupted: Moebius Syndrome and schizophrenia. We show how this altered sense of social space emerges from subtle disruptions of embodiment and affectivity characteristic of these conditions. These disruptions are instructive, we suggest, in that they highlight the foundational role that body and affect play in organizing social space—the lived context in which we first encounter one another as social agents.
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