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 Performativity is a theoretical concept that describes how we present ourselves to the world. It is closely associated with arguments around the meaning and expression of gender (see Gender/Sex). Males may be masculine and females may be feminine, but males may also be feminine and females masculine, within a continuum of degrees of expression. That is, gender is something that can be played with and acted out or performed. On this account, normative heterosexuality is as much a performance as any expression of sexuality and gender is mobile, unfixed and unstable.

Judith Butler, a North American cultural theorist and philosopher, came up with this theorization in Gender Trouble (1990) to disrupt boundaries and to explain how gender is not welded to biological sex. Using ...

locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles