This book provides a clear, focused road map to the study of the body in society. It defines, explains and applies core topics relating to the human body demonstrating how we approach it as a social phenomenon.

Each concept: Includes an easy to understand definition; Provides real-world examples; Gives suggestions for further reading; Is carefully cross-referenced to other related concepts

Written to meet the needs of the modern student this book offers the basic materials, tools and guidance needed study and write about the body.


Definition Habitus is the interpenetration of our social, cultural and physical environment – the faces, places and spaces – that we as social beings inhabit, through which we know ourselves and by which others identify us. Embodiment, or bodily hexis, is the political expression of all the factors that make up one's habitus, which are embodied or embedded in our physical being. So we wear our socio-political being and our background (habitus) on and through our bodies (hexis).

Sociologist and social theorist Pierre Bourdieu formulated his notions of habitus and embodiment (or bodily hexis) as part of his rejection of the supposedly objective, scientific anthropology and sociology that were dominant at the time he began writing. He believed sociological and anthropological method needed to be ‘reflexive’ ...

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