Routledge Handbook of Body Studies  book cover
1st Edition

Routledge Handbook of Body Studies

Edited By

Bryan Turner

ISBN 9780415593557
Published July 23, 2012 by Routledge
438 Pages

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Book Description

In the last three decades, the human body has gained increasing prominence in contemporary political debates, and it has become a central topic of modern social sciences and humanities. Modern technologies – such as organ transplants, stem-cell research, nanotechnology, cosmetic surgery and cryonics – have changed how we think about the body.

In this collection of thirty original essays by leading figures in the field, these issues are explored across a number of theoretical and disciplinary perspectives, including pragmatism, feminism, queer theory, post-modernism, post-humanism, cultural sociology, philosophy and anthropology. A wide range of case studies, which include cosmetics, diet, organ transplants, racial bodies, masculinity and sexuality, eating disorders, religion and the sacred body, and disability, are used to appraise these different perspectives.

In addition, this Handbook explores various epistemological approaches to the basic question: what is a body? It also offers a strongly themed range of chapters on empirical topics that are organized around religion, medicine, gender, technology and consumption. It also contributes to the debate over the globalization of the body: how have military technology, modern medicine, sport and consumption led to this contemporary obsession with matters corporeal?

The Handbook’s clear, direct style will appeal to a wide undergraduate audience in the social sciences, particularly for those studying medical sociology, gender studies, sports studies, disability studies, social gerontology, or the sociology of religion. It will serve to consolidate the new field of body studies.

Table of Contents

Introduction: the Turn of the Body  Body, Self and Society  1. Simone de Beauvoir and Binaries of the Body  2. Pragmatism’s Embodied Philosophy: From Immediate Experience to Somaesthetics  3. Norbert Elias and the Body  4. Embodied Practice: Martin Heidegger, Pierre Bourdieu and Michel Foucault  5. My Multiple Sick Bodies: Symbolic Interactionism, Autoethnography and Embodiment  6. Feminist theory: Bodies, Science and Technology  7. Foucault’s Body  What is a Body?  8. Layers or Versions? Human Bodies and the Love of Bitterness  9. Phenomenology and the Body  10. Social Constructionism and the Body  11. From Embodied Regulations to Hybrid Ontologies: Questioning Archaeological Bodies  12. Social Brains, Embodiment and Neuro-Interactionism  Religion and the Body  13. Relics of Faith: Fleshly Desires, Ascetic Disciplines and Devotional Affect in the Transnational Sathya Sai Movement  14. The Body and the Veil  15. Recomposing Decimated Bodies  Medical Regimes and the Body  16. Death Signals Life: A Semiotics of the Corpse  17. Beyond the Anorexic Paradigm: Re-Thinking ‘Eating’ Disorders  18. Disability, Impairment and the Body  19. The Body, Social Inequality and Health  20. Health and the Embodiment of the Life Course  Gender, Sexualities and Race  21. Chinese Male Bodies: A Transnational Study of Masculinity and Sexuality  22. Male Bodies, Masculine Bodies, Men’s Bodies: The Need for a Concept of Gex  23. Racialized Bodies  Technologies and Body Modification  24. Getting Work Done: Cosmetic Surgery as Constraint, as Commodity, as Commonplace  25. Modified Bodies: Texts, Projects and Process  26. Questions of Life and Death: A Genealogy  27. Rejecting the Aging Body  28. Conclusion: The Varieties of My Body: Pain, Ethics and Illusio

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Bryan S. Turner is the Presidential Professor of Sociology at the Graduate Center, the City University of New York USA and the Professor of Social and Political Thought at the University of Western Sydney, Australia. His publications include The Body & Society (Sage, 2008) and he edited The Routledge Handbook of Globalization Studies (2010).