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 In economic terms, consumption is the intended endpoint of production. Within capitalism, goods and services are produced, exchanged and consumed (supply) in response to demand. It has been argued that the body has become another object of consumption: this may refer to what we buy to adorn ourselves (Clothing); a particular way of living we may ‘buy’ into (Performativity); or it can refer to the ways in which we may package, present and sell ourselves to the world (Habitus, Identity).

Consumption is most often associated with the financial exchange relationships of capitalism. As theories of ‘the gift’ (Godelier, 1999; Mauss, 1990; Strathern, 1988; Titmuss, 1997) have shown there are and have been exchange relationships that function in less abstracted terms than monetary exchanges, in material ...

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