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Changing Bodies

Changing Bodies
Habit, Crisis and Creativity

June 2008 | 216 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Where are we at with studies of Body & Society? What are the key accomplishments in the field? This book provides the clearest and most comprehensive account of work in this area to date.

Based on a novel theory of action it surveys the terrain by arguing that human identity, social relationships and moral figurations develop as a result of people living in and seeking to reach beyond the limits of their bodily being. From this starting point the author undertakes a series of studies on sport, transgenderism, migration, illness, survival and belief which illuminate the relationship between bodily change and action.

The book provides an unrivalled survey of theory and empirical research and explores the hitherto neglected tradition of American 'body studies'. Wide in scope, systematic and incisive the book represents a landmark addition to the field of studies in body and society.
Embodying Social Action
Embodying Social Research

In this accessible yet highly informative book Chris Shilling sets out an analytical framework that can help social scientists interpret the body in culture, history and society.... I would recommend this book for any scholar with even a passing interest in the body and body culture. More specifically, it will be a useful resource for researchers, lecturers and final-year or postgraduate students examining the body in fields as seemingly wide as sociology, psychology, philosophy, geography and anthropology... An excellent contribution to body studies... I look forward to seeing Shilling’s perceptive ideas progress 

George Bradley Jennings, University of Abertay Dundee

Confirms Shilling's status as one of the most innovative and important figures in the study of the body in society in contemporary sociology. For anyone seeking to understand the significance of 'the body' in contemporary culture and how it is both encrypted by and encrypts culture, this book is an essential read... It will help guide scholarship and research agendas for many years to come.

Sport, Education and Society

Chris Shilling's exciting new work revisits pragmatism to provide an innovative and compelling theoretical orientation for body studies. At a time when sociology of the body has been fragmenting into niche studies of distinctive bodies, Shilling offers a unifying framework that never sacrifices particularity. Changing Bodies should become a core text for all social science studies of the body.

Professor Arthur W. Frank
Department of Sociology, University of Calgary

In this new book, Chris Shilling once again seeks to redefine the parameters of the sociology of the body. This is essential reading for all those in search of a sophisticated theoretical and methodological basis for the study of embodied action that resists a simplistic 'inverted Cartesianism'.

Dr Ian Burkitt
University of Bradford

Shilling has again produced an excellent publication that is not only of relevance to mainstream sociologist, but also those working in related fields in sport, dance, theatre, and physical activity. His work is appropriately pitched to entice not only the undergraduate audiences, but also those entering postgraduate study. Indeed, this book is a worthwhile addition to any upper level degree course. Shilling covers an array of topics and pertinent contemporary and enduring issues that have come to bear on bodies and their existence. In so doing, the book creates opportunities for readers to reconsider their own scholarly practices on and about the body, but also, reconsider their own corporeal epistemologies.

For the most part, this book is an insightful, thoughtful and stimulating read as Shilling has endeavoured to match academic rigor with a writing style amiable to a broader readership. The only minor criticism is that, because of brevity, many of the discussion points and topics could have certainly been extended, and there is certainly many instances where readers will be left wanting more. The concluding sections show that Shilling is at the vanguard of postmodern theorisations of the body, and it is exciting to think how future work will continue to develop, challenge, and negotiate these emergent discourses, ideas, and themes. Undoubtedly, one of the most creative academic enterprises on the body to date.

Dr Geoffery Kohe
Institute , Worcester University
June 27, 2011

Another excellent book by Professor Shilling, providing a detailed theoretical discussion as to the role of the body in contemporary society.

Dr Azrini Wahidin
Sch of Sociology,Soc Policy & Soc Work, Queen's University Belfast
March 12, 2011

An intriguing look at bringing the 'body back in' to research. Our corporeality is clealry based in (post) modern cultures and some intriguing arguments ensue

Mr James Brighton
Department of sport and Outdoor Education, Hartpury College
February 1, 2011

Interesting book exploring theories and representations of the body.

Dr Linda Perkins-Porras
Dept of Community Health Sciences, University of London
September 15, 2010

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