“My Body Spoke to Me”: “Marginal” Organs, Metonymic Somatization, and the Pain of Social Selection

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Through in-depth interviews, this article examines the accounts of subjects who, due to their selfhood and bodies being marked as “ethnic,” do not pass the selection process to enter night clubs in Tel Aviv. Their experiences of pain are expressed via a connection between the social, the physical and the mental, and indicates a unique somatic awakening. This awakening is expressed through an experience of body parts being perceived as “transparent” or “marginal” and not receiving phenomenological and somatic attention in everyday life. Using psychoanalytical model related to the symbolization levels of the somatic awakening, we propose interpreting this awakening - of the “marginal” - as metonymic somatic evidence. This awakening and the interpretation of it create continuity between the experience of “marginal” organs and the experience of marginality in the nighttime arena of ethnic selection. The discussion suggests that the sources of this mental-somatic awakening are related to the transformation of the private subject into a symbolic type (“the guy that doesn't pass selection”), which in turn expresses the collapse of the inimitable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-491
Number of pages17
JournalJournal for the Theory of Social Behaviour
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd


  • Body
  • metonymy
  • pain
  • selection
  • somatization
  • symbolic type

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology (all)


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