Multiple embodiment relations: sense-making in dissociative experiences

Chloe Preece, Victoria Rodner, Laryssa Whittaker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In response to a call for new conceptualizations of the self that avoid mind/body dualisms, recent research has introduced more flexible and fluid theorizations of personhood. This paper takes a phenomenological approach to examine the perceived shifts in body ownership and distribution of agency which underpin such theorizations. We focus on two dissociative experiences, namely, spirit possession and virtual reality, explicating how consumers can experience changes of perspective by disconnecting from the mainstream of their conscious awareness, allowing for a controlled “letting go,” resulting in therapeutic gains. We highlight how consumers create a larger assemblage of the self beyond single viewpoints for a new kind of experiencing. We argue that existing work has treated embodiment in a fairly symmetrical manner, insufficiently considering the inherently somatic characteristics of consumer experiences as an articulation of a multiplicity and distribution of embodiment and agentic relations, both human and non-human.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-215
Number of pages24
JournalConsumption, Markets and Culture
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2023


  • embodiment
  • disembodiment
  • dissociation
  • agency
  • virtual reality
  • spirit possession

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