The Embodiment of Meaning and the Meaning of Embodiment
Theoretical and Methodological Concerns in the Study of Postural Practice
Drawing on the example of kuśtī-pahalvānī (traditional wrestling in India) to engage with arguments presented in each of the chapters that have come before, this “Afterword” engages with the problem of how meaning is assigned to physical practices and to the body engaged in various forms of self-development and self-discipline. An analytical perspective based on semiotic theory is used to examine the problem of embodied meaning as well as methodological questions about how to compare various forms of physical practice. Emphasis is placed on the contingency of meaning and on the social construction of knowledge, as the social construction of knowledge provides a framework for understanding the intellectual significance of both transcendental consciousness and physical fitness.