• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

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, ...

The Body and Social Inequalities: Embodying Society
The body and social inequalities: Embodying society

This chapter examines sociological approaches that seek to overcome the limitations of naturalistic and social constructionist theories by examining what it is about the body that enables it to be both shaped by and exert a creative influence over society. These approaches recognize human embodiment as an emergent phenomenon, irreducible to its constituent elements, worthy of analysis in its own right. In so doing, they acknowledge that the embodied subject is made up of distinctive parts (brain, genes, blood, bones etc.), investing limited significance in the biological and neurological properties analysed by naturalistic perspectives. They also recognize that social processes influence the body, accepting the main insight of social constructionism. Nevertheless, the ...

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