Materiality, Technology, and Constructing Social Knowledge through Bodily Representation: A View from Prehistoric Guernsey, Channel Islands.
The role of the human body in the creation of social knowledge-as an ontological and/or aesthetic category-has been applied across social theory. In all these approaches, the body is viewed as a locus for experience and knowledge. If the body is a source of subjective knowledge, then it can also become an important means of creating ontological categories of self and society. The materiality of human representations within art traditions, then, can be interpreted as providing a means for contextualizing and aestheticizing the body in order to produce a symbolic and structural knowledge category. This paper explores the effect of material choices and techniques of production when representing the human body on how societies order and categorize the world.