• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Where are we at with studies of Body & Society? What are the key accomplishments in the field? This book provides the clearest and most comprehensive account of work in this area to date. Featuring a series of studies on sport, transgenderism, migration, illness, survival and belief, it illuminates the relationship between bodily change and action. Chris Shilling's book provides an unrivalled survey of theory and empirical research and explores the hitherto neglected tradition of American 'body studies'. Wide in scope, systematic and incisive the book represents a landmark addition to the field of studies in body and society.'In this new book, Chris Shilling once again seeks to redefine the parameters of the sociology of the body. Drawing on the ideas of pragmatism and the social research of the Chicago school, Shilling analyses many of the contemporary crises and transitions that challenge embodied habit and character, concluding that in many cases embodied individuals find the creative capacity for transcendence of their current social and material contexts. This is essential reading for all those in search of a sophisticated theoretical and methodological basis for the study of embodied action that resists a simplistic 'inverted Cartesianism' - Dr Ian Burkitt, University of Bradford

Embodying Social Research
Embodying social research

Pragmatism imparted embodied subjects with emergent capacities and needs, and recognised that people were shaped and partially constituted by the social and the natural world. As such, it appeared to offer a highly suggestive resource for those interested in exploring empirically the reciprocal jostlings that occur between individuals and their surroundings. Yet most European sociologists remained unconvinced. Embedded in well-established traditions of thought, they tended to be hostile or indifferent to pragmatism (e.g. Durkheim, 1955; but see Baert and Turner, 2007). The fate of this tradition within its home nation, however, was quite different. Pragmatism was well-represented in the first American university to establish a Department of Sociology, the University of Chicago. Dewey and Mead taught at Chicago, while C.H. ...

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