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Temas em Psicologia

Print version ISSN 1413-389X


CAMARGO, Brigido Vizeu; JUSTO, Ana Maria  and  ALVES, Catarina Durante Bergue. Thesocial functions and representations of the body: a generational comparison. Temas psicol. [online]. 2011, vol.19, n.1, pp. 269-281. ISSN 1413-389X.

The human body, besides being a natural organism, isconstituted by ever changing individual and social representations can make.This dynamic is manifested in the way the individuals use, perceive, modify andtransform the body. The social representations theory can contribute to thecomprehension of the body beyond the individual and psychological dimensions,clarifying the role of shared knowledge on conceptions about the body. Thepresent article intends to diagnose the social representations of the body andthe social functions attributed to it by different age groups. Seventy ninemembers of the university community (UFSC) participated in this research, distributedequivalently between sex and age. A self-administered questionnaire was usedfor data collection. We found that age differences were more important than sexdifferences on the social representation of the body and its social functions;and the articulation between these two dimensions suggests that there arecounter-normative aspects on the social representation of the body,specifically those connected to the social functions. The participants do notrefer to these elements in the lexical content of the social representation,but these elements are indicated by the participant's related behaviors. Wesuggest the necessity of the development of more efficient methodologicalstrategies on the identification of the social representation, able to considerit in all its complexity.

Keywords : Social representations; Social functions; Body.

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