Unrivalled in its clarity and coverage, this sparkling new edition of Chris Shilling's classic text is a masterful account of the emergence and development of body matters in sociology and related disciplines.

A timely, well reasoned response to current concerns and controversies across the globe, it provides chapter-by-chapter coverage of the major theories, approaches and studies conducted in the field. Each chapter has been revised and updated, with new discussions of ‘action network theory’, bodywork, pragmatism, the global resurgence of religious identities, ‘new genetics’, biological citizenship, and figurations of the living and dead.

Packed full of critical analysis and relevant empirical studies the book engages with the major classical and contemporary theories within body studies including the: Naturalistic; Constructionist; Structuralist; Realist; Interactionist; Feminist; Phenomenological

Original, logical and indispensible, this is a must-have title for students and researchers engaged with the study of the body.



This book is intended to be a theoretical contribution to the sociology of the body and the rapidly expanding field of ‘body studies’. In what follows I examine the changing status of the body in the discipline, evaluate and build upon the major perspectives utilized by sociological studies of the body, explore the implications of these perspectives for key social issues, and offer my own analysis of the relationship between the body, self-identity and death in the contemporary period of ‘late’ modernity (Giddens, 1991). In this analysis I argue that, in the current era, there is a particular tendency for the body to become central to the modern person's sense of self-identity. Against this background, the prospect of mortality assumes an importance that only ...

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