“I must say at the start that this is a most important and interesting collection which does much to advance the sociology of the body. I congratulate the editors for a fine achievement, and the editors of TCS for pioneering this new, and now much less secret, theorizing of the body and of the embodied self.” Contemporary Sociology “Both engrossing and challenging, the papers present to the reader an opportunity to examine in depth the significance of the human physique…. A thought provoking book.” Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling For centuries the human body has been a long-established issue in anthropology. However, human embodiment is increasingly becoming the primary focus in sociology and cultural studies as a means to understanding the complex interrelations between nature, culture, and society. At a theoretical level, this challenging volume explores the origins of a social theory of the body in sources ranging from the work of Nietzsche to contemporary feminist theory. Through specific case studies, the contributors demonstrate the importance of a theoretical understanding of the body to social and cultural analyses of contemporary societies. These range from the expression of emotions, romantic love, dietary practices, consumer behavior, physical fitness, beauty, and media images of women and sexuality. The Body will interest scholars and researchers, as well as students of social theory, sociology, anthropology, cultural studies, and philosophy.
Chapter 1: Recent Developments in the Theory of the Body
Recent Developments in the Theory of the Body
Anthropology and the Body
In contrast to sociology, the human body has been accorded a place of central importance in anthropology since the nineteenth century. There are at least four reasons which explain the prominence of the body in anthropology.
The first is the development of philosophical anthropology, and the issue of ...