The Body in Society

The Body in Society : An Introduction

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Description

This book is a lively and highly accessible introduction to the sociology of the body. It examines what certain aspects of our bodies, such as the size, shape, smell and demeanor, reveal about the social organization of everyday life and how the body is crucial to the way we engage with the world and the people around us. It gives an accessible introduction to the complex topic of the sociology of the body. It examines what certain aspects of our bodies, such as the size, shape, smell and demeanor, reveal about the social organization of everyday life. It introduces students to the key theoretical perspectives and conceptual frameworks which help us to understand the social significance of the human body. It uses examples with which readers will have familiarity, such as eating and sleeping.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 208 pages
  • 154 x 228 x 22mm | 421.85g
  • Polity Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1, black & white illustrations
  • 0745625371
  • 9780745625379

Review quote

"The Body in Society is a welcome resource for undergraduate courses in sociology of the body. Students will appreciate Howson's clear prose, her organization by substantive topics, her glossary, and her inclusion for websites for further research on particular topics. A careful, concise, and comprehensive addition to the teaching literature on the body." Arthur W. Frank, University of Calgary "This book is a genuinely introductory text that is both accessible and intellectually challenging to students approaching the sociology of the body for the first time. Admirably grounded in evidence drawn from empirical research, it takes the reader by the hand on a conducted tour of theoretical issues ranging from questions of gender, consumer culture and the civilizing process to the social construction of ageing and the lifecourse. The writing is clear, vigorous and above all highly readable. It is the work of an imaginative and skilful teacher who confidently bridges the gap between the commonsense knowledge and experience of the body in everyday life and sociological research and theorization. The result is an introductory text which does not lose sight of the point of departure of the sociology of the body in everyday life or the complexity of the intellectual roadmap we require for our journey." Mike Hepworth, University of Aberdeenshow more

About Alexandra Howson

Alexandra Howson Lecturer in Sociology, University of Abertay, Dundeeshow more

Back cover copy

This new book is a lively and highly accessible introduction to the sociology of the body. In everyday life we are not, for the most part, actively conscious of our bodies or the bodies of others - we simply take them for granted. "The Body in Society" examines what certain aspects of our bodies, such as the size, shape, smell and demeanor, reveal about the social organization of everyday life and how the body is crucial to the way we engage with the world and the people around us. The human body is endowed with varied forms of social significance, and it is this which sociology has addressed by asking questions such as: To what degree do individuals have control over their own bodies? What interest does the state have in regulating the human body? How significant is the body to the development and performance of the self in everyday life? What images of the body influence people's expectations of themselves and others? Written in a clear and comprehensible way, The Body in Society introduces students to the key theoretical perspectives and conceptual frameworks that help us to understand the social significance of the human body. Using familiar examples from everyday life, such as diet and exercise regimes, personal hygiene, dress, displays of emotion, and control over bodily functions, coupled with examples from contemporary popular culture, the text has strong contemporary relevance and will strike a chord with all who read it. This book will be essential reading for students taking courses on the body in sociology, anthropology, gender studies and cultural studies.show more

Table of contents

List of Illustrations.Acknowledgements.Introduction.1. The Body in Everyday Life.2. The Body, Gender and Sex.3. The Civilized Body.4. The Body in Consumer Culture.5. Regulating the Body.6. Images and Experiences of Childhood, Ageing and Death.Glossary.References.Indexshow more

Rating details

23 ratings
3.47 out of 5 stars
5 9% (2)
4 43% (10)
3 39% (9)
2 4% (1)
1 4% (1)
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