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The Body and Social Theory

The Body and Social Theory

Third Edition

September 2012 | 336 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
"Great to have a new edition - this is essential reading and provides a clear, accessible yet original overview of social theory and the body."
- Sarah Nettleton
, University of York

"Lucidly argued and accessibly written, this book avoids the pitfalls of either too much naturalism or too much social constructivism. It is a book with something for everyone, from the classics in social theory on the body to contemporary bodily phenomena like genetics, body modification, and cultural anxieties about death."
- Kathy Davis, Utrecht University

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 'actor-network theory', bodywork, pragmatism, the global resurgence of religious identities, 'new genetics', biological citizenship, neuroscience, 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, interactionist, constructionist, feminist, structuralist, phenomenological, and realist.

Original, logical and indispensable this is a must-have title for students and researchers engaged with the study of the body.

Preface to the Third Edition
The Body in Sociology
The Naturalistic Body
The Socially Constructed Body
The Body and Social Inequalities: Embodying Sociology
The Body and Physical Capital
The Civilized Body
The Body, Self-Identity and Death: Figurations of Life and Death
Afterword: Embodiment, Identity and Theory
Absent-Present Bodies

The Body and Self-Identity

Body Theories and Corporeal Realism


a very useful text for those wanting to explore the social theories surrounding the body. This will be useful across health professionals

Dr Nikki Petty
Health , Brighton University
November 27, 2012

This is a really intersting book and well presented. It makes good links as the title suggests between the Body and Social Theory - it is good to show alternative approaches to looking at social theory but is a more focussed than a general text book

Dr Christine Corcoran
Faculty of Social Science, The Open University
November 22, 2012

Very good and comprehensive book. Lacks some psychological aspects in the field though.

Mr Mikko Saastamoinen
Social Science , University of Eastern Finland
September 27, 2012

Sample Materials & Chapters

Shilling: Chapter 1

For instructors

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ISBN: 9780857025333

ISBN: 9780857025326

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