body, sociology of


body, sociology of
Influenced by the writings of Michel Foucault , which assert sociology's neglect of the body, sociologists who practise this relatively new specialism analyse humans as embodied persons-not just as actors with values and attitudes. They explore the varied cultural meanings attached to bodies, and the way they are controlled, regulated, and reproduced, paying especial attention to illness, disease, and sexuality. A good introduction to the field is Bryan S. Turner's The Body and Society (1996). The study of the body has developed into a very broad strand in modern sociological research. It includes such diverse themes as sex therapy, contemporary dance, the body-building industry, the management of children, use of food, and images of lesbians and gays. These apparently esoteric themes are usually connected to central issues of social theory, such as those of control, order, and ideology. Sociologists of the body have also made an increasing contribution to the study of illness and to medical sociology . The scope of this increasingly popular specialism is illustrated in the range of topics addressed in, Body Matters (1993). See also emotion, sociology of ; food, sociological studies of ; gender ; nature versus nurture debate.

Dictionary of sociology. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sociology of the body — is a branch of sociology studying the representations and social uses of the human body in modern societies. Early theoriesAccording to Thomas Laqueur, [Thomas Laqueur, Making Sex: Body and Gender From the Greeks to Freud (Massachusetts , Harvard …   Wikipedia

  • SOCIOLOGY — as a field of intellectual endeavor is much older than sociology as an academic discipline. Modern sociology can be traced to the Scottish moralists such as Adam Ferguson, David Hume, Adam Smith, and possibly to Thomas Hobbes. The word sociology… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Sociology of law — refers to both a sub discipline of sociology and an approach within the field of legal studies. Sociology of law is a diverse field of study which examines the interaction of law with other aspects of society, such as the effect of legal… …   Wikipedia

  • Sociology of sport — Sociology of sport, alternately referred to as sports sociology , is an area of sociology that focuses on sport as a social phenomenon and on the social and cultural structures, patterns, and organizations or groups engaged in sport. There are… …   Wikipedia

  • sociology —    Sociology sets out to ‘describe, understand and explain’ (Abercrombie et al. 1986) the social world that we inhabit. Far from being a ‘new’ discipline, it has its roots in the early nineteenth century, with Auguste Comte (1798–1857) first… …   Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture

  • Sociology in Poland — has been developing, as has sociology throughout Europe, since the mid 19th century. Polish sociology is today a vibrant science, with its own experts and currents of thought. As early as in 1917 a Polish scholar, Jan Stanisław Bystroń, wrote… …   Wikipedia

  • Sociology — • The claims of sociology to a place in the hierarchy of sciences are subjected to varied controversy. It has been held that there is no distinct problem for a science of sociology, no feature of human society not already provided for in the… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Sociology in medieval Islam — Medieval Islamic sociology refers to the study of sociology and the social sciences in the medieval Islamic world. Early Islamic sociology responded to the challenges of social organization of diverse peoples all under common religious… …   Wikipedia

  • Sociology — For the journal, see Sociology (journal). Sociology …   Wikipedia

  • sociology — It has been argued that the very origins of the word ‘sociology’, from the latin socius (companion) and the Greek ology (study of), indicate its nature as a hybrid discipline that can never aspire to the status of a social science or a coherent… …   Dictionary of sociology