Qualia of Stress and Bodily Enregisterment in Ice Swimming

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Combining an ethnographic account of the Finnish national pastime of ice swimming and its remediation through the Wim Hof Method with an analysis of media representations, this article expands linguistic and semiotic anthropological scholarship on the enregisterment of bodily and affective qualia by looking at how practitioners of this therapeutic technology elaborate on their corporeal and semiotic selves and the transformations of those selves after indulging in full-body contact with freezing cold water. Laying particular emphasis on stress as a discursive hub and an intensely circulating qualisign within vernacular and institutionalized health discourses, the article discusses how pedagogical ice swimming exegesis is contributing to the enregisterment of emergent forms of personhood through metasemiotic regimentations of the body that draw from natural and holistic as well as scientific and technical registers.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSigns and society
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)155-175
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 5143 Social and cultural anthropology

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