Social Brains, Embodiment and Neuro-Interactionism
One wouldn’t know that bodies have brains from reading much of the body studies literature, and certainly not from reading the speciﬁcally sociological literature on the body and embodiment. This may call for a corrective by way of introduction. That is, in fact, what neurosociologists mean to do: introduce sociologists to the brain. Empirical knowledge of the brain is being employed by neuroscientists to make claims about human sociality. Neurosociologists are aiming to apply work on the ‘social brain’ to reﬁne concepts about self, other and intersubjectivity. Interventions into social theory by way of the brain are also on oﬀer. Neuroscience is being conﬁgured as a resource for sociology that will help to ﬂesh out the body’s materiality and ameliorate extreme social constructionism. In this chapter I consider one application of neurosociology, which I am naming ‘neuro-interactionism,’ that utilizes brain research on mirror neurons to materialize symbolic interactionist concepts of intersubjectivity. My aim is not simply to introduce uninitiated readers to neurosociology, but rather to highlight and raise questions about neurosociology’s interventions into debates about the body and bioculture.