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.

The Body in Sociology

The body in sociology

Throughout its establishment and development, sociology adopted a disembodied approach to its subject matter. That, at least, is the analysis favoured by social theorists accustomed to regarding the body as the province of another discipline such as biology, an uninteresting prerequisite of human action, or a passive target of social control. It would probably be more accurate, though, to portray the body as possessing a dual status in sociology. Instead of missing entirely, the body has historically been an ‘absent presence’ in the discipline. It has been absent in that sociology has rarely focused directly on the embodiment of humanity. As bodies were commonly regarded as natural, individual phenomena existing outside the legitimate social concerns of the discipline, ...

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