Sheryl Hamilton, ‘Hands in Cont(r)act: The Resiliency of Business Handshakes in Pandemic Culture’

ABSTRACT
This article examines the persistence of the handshake in business circles despite its implication in the spread of communicable disease in contemporary pandemic culture. An examination of business etiquette discourse suggests that even during disease outbreaks or flu season, the business handshake remains an important visual and haptic legal gesture. While it may no longer produce a binding legal contract, it stages the parties as contractable subjects, as claiming the status of autonomous individuals committed to defining their intersubjective relationship through the norms of contract. The business handshake thus operates as a cultural site for the complex interaction of bodies and law, and the production of masculine, haptic-legal subjectivity.

Sheryl N Hamilton, Hands in Cont(r)act: The Resiliency of Business Handshakes in Pandemic Culture, Canadian Journal of Law and Society, volume 34, special issue 2, August 2019, pp. 343-360.

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