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 Civilized Body

The civilized body

The human body may not be the central focus of Norbert Elias's theory of the civilizing process (2000 [1939]), but is of great importance to the ‘central theory’ he proposed for sociology and the social sciences (Quilley and Loyal, 2005; Gabriel and Mennell, 2011). In this chapter I argue that Elias's writings contain within them an account of ‘civilized bodies’ that underpins his entire analysis of civilizing processes. This is manifest in Elias's general concern with the body's relevance to historical transformations in behavioural codes and affect control, webs of interdependence, and monopolies of violence. It is evident further in his specific studies of the body as a symbol of value in court societies, as a vehicle of violence within ...

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