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.

Medical Bodies

Medical Bodies

Medical bodies

In earlier chapters we have seen how the body politic functions on the economic and political level. It is a complex task to analyze the simultaneous celebration and degradation of the human body in the production, consumption, and administrative processes of modern political economy. What we have observed so far reaches its apogee in the medicalization of the body. Here we have a new frontier for industrial societies. Here, above all, is a place for the choreography of professional heroism: one body probing another in the extension of the finest technology in the world. No scenario is better suited to modern society. Its apparent classlessness, its obvious expertise, and its secular humanism are not only the very stuff of medical soap operas; ...

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