'The Basic Stuff of Our Memories': Embodying and Embedding Discipline



Brownlie J (2006) 'The Basic Stuff of Our Memories': Embodying and Embedding Discipline. Sociological Research Online, 11 (4).

In recent political debates about physical chastisement, children have been positioned as 'potential' selves and have had their bodies mapped in specific ways. This article compares these discourses with findings from a study of parents' views of proposed legislation on physical discipline. It is argued that parents' talk about physical discipline is temporal not only because it is concerned with the nature of the child's body/self at the time of punishment but because parents engage with memories from their own childhood and, therefore, with how childhood selves have been disciplined across social and biographical time. Drawing on sociological work on the body, memory and childhood, the article explores two aspects of disciplinary practices - their embodied and embedded nature – which, to date, have been under researched and under theorised in debates about physical chastisement.

Childhood; Bodies; Physical Chastisement; Legal Discourses; Memory; Children Research Methodology; Child development Research; Parenting; Violence in children Prevention; Child psychology

Sociological Research Online: Volume 11, Issue 4

Publication date31/12/2006
Publication date online20/12/2006
PublisherUniversity of Surrey, University of Stirling, Sage Publications Ltd. and the British Sociological Association
Publisher URL