Body Problems addresses the relationship between the body and society in a fast-food culture. Agger focuses on issues of food, exercise, work, dieting and eating disorders, fashion, bariatric and cosmetic surgery, and health. He addresses a growing, fundamental dilemma that we have ample access to abundant calories yet lead lifestyles and have jobs that for the most part do not enable us to expend those calories. He proposes solutions, both individual and structural, that involve re-orienting ourselves to exercise as play.
This second edition has been updated to include a new chapter on food capitalism and a concluding passage arguing Cartesian dualism can be resolved by exercising vegans in ways that would thwart this food capitalism and give people immense control over their bodies, health, and well-being. The book is ideal for courses in introductory sociology, social problems, work, sociology of sport and leisure, gender, and health and illness.
Table of Contents
Introduction by Scott G. McNall, University of Montana
- There was no Body Problem Until Modernity: Descartes, Henry Ford, Corn Syrup Highways
- Too Much of a Good Thing, and the Invention of Exercise
- Body Sciences
- Body Industries
- Beyond Body Work
- Food Fights: The Contested Terrain of the American Dinner Plate
- Vegans Who Run
Ben Agger (1952–2015) was Professor of Sociology and Humanities and Director of the Center for Theory at the University of Texas at Arlington. Among his last published books were Texting Toward Utopia: Kids, Writing, and Resistance (2013) and Oversharing: Presentations of Self in the Internet Age (2012).