Body and Society 9 (2):55-73 (2003)

This article is designed to explore ideas in the recent sociology of morality about the conjunction of ethics and embodiment in everyday life. While it draws on an interpretation of the ethical encounter as a relation of moral proximity, it extends this conception of ethics beyond the dyad to include a discussion of gift giving and generosity in the present context. This is done in order to analyse a concrete empirical event in terms of the web of moral and social codes that inform it. The event in question is a well-known New Zealand breastfeeding case in which a woman breastfed another woman's baby `without her consent'. As well as drawing attention to the ethical risks in encounters between strangers and others in contemporary social life, this particular breastfeeding case also brings to the fore the invisibility of breastfeeding as an embodied ethical practice.
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DOI 10.1177/1357034x030092003
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