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Environment, Labour and Capitalism at SeaWorking the Ground' in Scotland$
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Penny McCall Howard

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781784994143

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781784994143.001.0001

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Techniques to extend the body and its senses

Techniques to extend the body and its senses

(p.89) 3 Techniques to extend the body and its senses
Environment, Labour and Capitalism at Sea

Penny McCall Howard

Manchester University Press

Chapter Three begins by examining the importance of boats as technologies for living and working at sea - in contrast to a great deal of literature about the sea and fishing that focusses on human-environment relations only. The chapter draws on Marcel Mauss’ analysis of techniques to ethnographically and phenomenologically examine the way in which boats and other tools are used to extend people’s bodies and sensory perception deep into the sea. As a result of these extensions, the sea is treated as a familiar workspace and caring relationships of maintenance develop between people and their tools and boats. The chapter investigates how human subjectivities and bodily safety are affected by the struggle to remain in control of the extended practices often used to work at sea. This control also depends on the ownership of boats and their gear. The chapter engages with the history of the Scottish herring fishery, the anthropology of the senses, and Lucy Suchman’s and Michael Jackson’s anthropology of human-machine relations. It also draws on anthropologies of labour-action, enskilment and task-orientation by Michael Jackson, Gísli Pálsson, and Tim Ingold.

Keywords:   Human-machine relations, Technology, Listening, Vibration, Feeling, Anthropology of the senses, Underwater, Marcel Mauss, Lucy Suchman, Michael Jackson

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