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.

Conclusion: The Future Shape of Human Beings

Conclusion: The Future Shape of Human Beings

Conclusion: The future shape of human beings

Our situation, as we have considered it in the light of our potential for revising the very status of life, requires us to think of all technology as biotechnology – to see that every power over nature is a power over ourselves. Bio-power is not only present in our machines but proliferates in the discursive production of the human sciences designed to control life, health, sanity, and knowledge. An escalation of this power occurs once the bio-therapeutic state discovers that the will to knowledge can be conscripted to redesign the beginnings and ends of life and to administer its course (Haraway, 1997). Of course, society has always shaped life, as I have ...

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