Biosocial Matters: Rethinking Sociology-Biology in the Twenty-First Century features a collection of essays from scholars on the vanguard of a reframing of biology/society debates within the sociological disciplines.
Edited by Maurizio Meloni, Simon Williams and Paul Martin, the collection focuses on the following questions: What do sociologists think of when they say the word ‘biology’ both as a way of conceiving vital processes (life as such in its manifold dynamics) and as a form of expert knowledge (biology as an academic discipline)? Furthermore, who do they cite as examples if not exemplars of this biology in question?
A long time collaborator and friend of Hearing the Voice, Professor Lisa Blackman (Goldsmiths, University of London), has contributed an article to the collection entitled ‘The challenges of new biopsychosocialities: hearing voices, trauma, epigenetics and mediated perception’.
Abstract: This chapter considers the promise of epigenetics in the context of the phenomenon of voice hearing and the question of how to account for the links between voice hearing, trauma and abuse. The chapter explores the epistemic spaces and controversies, which surround the calls for a more psychosocial approach to be incorporated into the more molecular focus of epigenetics. This includes the vexed question of how to invent and work with models of psychological processes, which are processual, indeterminate and contiguous with the biological, social, technical, material and immaterial. These challenges are posed for sociologists, psychosocial researchers and molecular biologists, who when theorizing psychological processes, are often trapped by an individual/social dualism or bifurcation between nature and culture. The chapter explores evidence from the Hearing Voices Movement to draw out the issues at stake for addressing biosocial matters.
Lisa’s article, along with the other essays in Biosocial Matters: Rethinking Sociology-Biology in the Twenty-First Century, is available to read online for institutional subscribers here.