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 and Physical Capital

The body and physical capital

Pierre Bourdieu's theory of social reproduction revolves around a concern with the body as a socially shaped generator of social class divisions. The body for Bourdieu, as for Elias, is an unfinished entity that develops through the life course in conjunction with social forces. Indeed, Bourdieu's conceptualization of the body as a bearer of value is clearly influenced by Elias's view of the civilized body (Bourdieu, 1984: xi). Both identify an interrelationship between social location and corporeal development, and both view body management as central to the accumulation of status. There is even overlap in their conceptual apparatus: Bourdieu appears to have adapted the term ‘habitus’ – a term that originated in Aristotle's writings on virtue ...

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