tommy.jensen@sbs.su.se johan.sandstrom@ltu.se

AC/DC, the groin and science


The frontman of AC/DC, Brian Jonson, once replied to a journalist’s question about why AC/DC has remained so popular since the 1970s, that their music enters the listener through the groin first – men and women alike. Listening to, playing and recording music we can sort of relate to this groin sensation. But what has this to do with science?

Nothing says the instrumentalists and the purists. Nothing says those who fear conflict and going against the grain. We say that the importance of groin is there, for sure, but it’s almost a taboo-thing to expose and talk about. Doing fieldwork, reading a text or engaging in conversations, is something that the groin is taking part in. It’s not bracketed off from the rest of the body. The groin, however, is not always related to physical attraction and sex, although this sometimes is the case when reading or writing texts, engaging in conversations or observations.

By this we do not mean to downplay reason. There is great danger in following your groin (or your gut feeling or a sudden feel in the heart), in following your senses, without consulting the faculty of reason. But, we have to accept and be open about that our groins (as well as gut feeling and heartaches) sometimes are dead right from the beginning and without which the faculty of reason many times is helplessly left in the dark.

This post could be interpreted as another text seeking to address the problematic abyss between body and soul, mind and body, but it has a twist: the groin, so connected to physical attraction and sex, is an “elephant in the room”. Very rarely do we come across researchers who take in their groinly experience in research and seriously ponder its scientific importance (scientists do spend time and effort trying to understand how, when and why the groin matters for their objects of study, or interviewees, or respondents, or even co-participants). So, the basic point is to bring in the groin to accompany stomach, heart, senses and reason. An example from our Organizing rocks study would perhaps be appropriate here, but we need to come back on this one…


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