Dilemmas and paradoxes of self-government of the body

Rui Machado Gomes

Original Language

Cite this article

Machado Gomes, R. (2004). Machado Gomes. Apunts. Educación Física y Deportes, 78, 33-40.




Contemporaneousness presides the birth of everyday routine, completely invaded by a widespread search for human life: the anguish of age, the obsession for health and physical figure, keep-fit rituals and diets, the search for autonomous therapies and the proliferation of self medication are indicators of the unprecedented fascination for self knowledge and self realisation. This social reflexivity, knowledge impregnated with medical and psychological information typical of late modernity, does not always increase the capacity to dominate the external situation of those involved. On the contrary, it often intimidates and inhibits the possibilities to choose. Greater knowledge about social life does not seem to mean greater control of our destiny. Such incapacity, caused by the excess of reflexivity, is also the result of the rigid and immobile atmosphere in social level. Society seems immune to any change while permanent reforms deviate towards the individual him/herself and towards his/her body. At a time when the limits of knowledge of society as a whole examine its capacity to change, the knowledge which each individual has about him/herself and the possibilities to change the way and the corporal architecture this seems to ensure become the last refuge of progress.

Keywords: Risk, Self-Government, Style of Life, Technologies of the Self.

ISSN: 1577-4015

Published: October 01, 2004