Five Bodies offers an introduction to some of the most urgent contemporary concerns within the sociology of the body. The book was first published in 1985 in the USA by Cornell University Press, and was nominated for the John Porter Award (sponsored by the Canadian Sociology and Anthropology Association). A path breaking book, it offered a framework for the growing field of the sociology of the body and opened up ‘the body’ for sociological research. This new edition (the previous edition was published by Cornell University Press (1985) has been substantially revised and updated to address today's issues of the body in modern life, community and politics. John O'Neill examines how embodied selves and relationships are being re-shaped and re-figured and how the embodied figures of the polity, economy and society represent the contested notions of identity, desire, wholeness and fragmentation. He focuses upon those cultural practices through which we map our macro–micro worlds: articulating a cosmology; a body politic; a productive/consumptive economy; a bio-technological frontier of human design and transplantation.



The Prosthetic God

We love to wear machines – anything from sunglasses to a cigar, from a watch to a car. We even love to carry machines – anything will do, from walking stick to a boombox, from the Portable Nietzsche to a mobile (phone). We hate to switch off our engines. Lest we switch off ourselves, we leave our motors running, the lights on, the radio in the background, the TV over the bar, the refrigerator, or the humidifier. When we die, there has to be someone willing to switch off the machines that otherwise persist in living for us. We look good to ourselves in machines: they are the natural extensions of our narcissistic selves. They magnify us, and at the same time ...

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