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The Body in Society


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vi

Introduction 1

1 The Body in Everyday Life 16

2 The Body, Gender and Sex 50

3 The Civilized Body 85

4 The Body in Consumer Culture 115

5 Regulating the Body 150

6 Vulnerable Bodies 179

Glossary 211

References 220

Index 248

About the Author

Alexandra Howson is an independent researcher/writer, and former lecturer in sociology at the Universities of Edinburgh and Aberdeen.


Howson set out to write about everyday embodiedexperiences rather than the interests of professional sociologists.Perhaps that s why The Body in Society is such avaluable resource for exactly those sociologists and theirstudents. This revised version is a highly engaging, accessibleand, above all, socially embedded introduction to this importantarea. Julie Brownlie, University of Stirling The sociology of the body is now an established andimportant field of research and scholarship. Howson offers atimely, up-to-date and accessible introduction to a wide range ofkey issues in the field. The Body in Society will be anessential text for students exploring the body's role in socialrelations. Victoria Pitts-Taylor, City University of New York Sociological interest in the body has burgeoned since the1980s, but few writers have managed to provide such a sophisticatedinterweaving of theoretical approaches with applied understanding.Eloquently charting everyday practices diversified bygender, age, disability, ethnicity and sexuality, situated withintheoretical frameworks encompassing phenomenology and dualism,regulation and cultural capital, Howson enables us to appreciateboth the real and the politically inscribed aspectsof embodiment as influenced by social processes andcontexts. Gillian Bendelow, University of Sussex

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