It is only relatively recently that the body has become a topic for sociology. Before the mid-1980s, most sociologists seemed to look right through the fleshly substantiality of the body and fix their interrogative gazes upon the shimmeringimmaterialities of the knowing, reflective, philosophical human subject. The latter phenomenon appeared to transcend such mundanities as birthing, mutilation, imprisonment, illness, the experiences of adolescents as their bodies seem to run out of control, bleeding, wearing 13-centimetre spiked heels, or having a facelift – the ‘real subject’ was somehow behind or beyond all these. Certainly, the sociology of vomiting practices still awaits its Marx, Weber and Durkheim. But why did sociology fail to face the flesh for so long? Writers such as Turner (1992) see ...