Sociologically speaking, is it possible to stop being a person?
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Dunno, JL. Get a job not in academia? Or not an R1 university. Vaguely I recall an article (in something like Science?) about how lab mice require rigorous, humane protocols, but once they become loose you can glue trap them to death with impunity. And as pets we would do neither.
You have something specific in mind? Social death?
I’m trying to help a student think about a project and we have drifted into conversations about the boundaries of “personhood”. I come at it from my experiences with ANT (for the unfamiliar: considering non-humans as social actors, see Latour, Callon, etc.) and she comes at it from her interest in body modification/disability/on-line avatars, etc. (She’s also reading Cerulo, Jerolmack and similar to get at human-animal interaction.)
But we both push toward the same goal: how do sociologists define a “person?”
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