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Changing Bodies

Changing Bodies
Habit, Crisis and Creativity

June 2008 | 216 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Where are we at with studies of Body & Society? What are the key accomplishments in the field? This book provides the clearest and most comprehensive account of work in this area to date.

Featuring a series of studies on sport, transgenderism, migration, illness, survival and belief, it illuminates the relationship between bodily change and action. Chris Shilling's book provides an unrivalled survey of theory and empirical research and explores the hitherto neglected tradition of American 'body studies'.

Wide in scope, systematic and incisive the book represents a landmark addition to the field of studies in body and society.

'In this new book, Chris Shilling once again seeks to redefine the parameters of the sociology of the body. Drawing on the ideas of pragmatism and the social research of the Chicago school, Shilling analyses many of the contemporary crises and transitions that challenge embodied habit and character, concluding that in many cases embodied individuals find the creative capacity for transcendence of their current social and material contexts. This is essential reading for all those in search of a sophisticated theoretical and methodological basis for the study of embodied action that resists a simplistic 'inverted Cartesianism' - Dr Ian Burkitt, University of Bradford

Embodying Social Action
Embodying Social Research

Shilling has again produced an excellent publication that is not only of relevance to mainstream sociologist, but also those working in related fields in sport, dance, theatre, and physical activity. His work is appropriately pitched to entice not only the undergraduate audiences, but also those entering postgraduate study. Indeed, this book is a worthwhile addition to any upper level degree course. Shilling covers an array of topics and pertinent contemporary and enduring issues that have come to bear on bodies and their existence. In so doing, the book creates opportunities for readers to reconsider their own scholarly practices on and about the body, but also, reconsider their own corporeal epistemologies.

For the most part, this book is an insightful, thoughtful and stimulating read as Shilling has endeavoured to match academic rigor with a writing style amiable to a broader readership. The only minor criticism is that, because of brevity, many of the discussion points and topics could have certainly been extended, and there is certainly many instances where readers will be left wanting more. The concluding sections show that Shilling is at the vanguard of postmodern theorisations of the body, and it is exciting to think how future work will continue to develop, challenge, and negotiate these emergent discourses, ideas, and themes. Undoubtedly, one of the most creative academic enterprises on the body to date.

Dr Geoffery Kohe
Institute , Worcester University
June 27, 2011

Another excellent book by Professor Shilling, providing a detailed theoretical discussion as to the role of the body in contemporary society.

Dr Azrini Wahidin
Sch of Sociology,Soc Policy & Soc Work, Queen's University Belfast
March 12, 2011

An intriguing look at bringing the 'body back in' to research. Our corporeality is clealry based in (post) modern cultures and some intriguing arguments ensue

Mr James Brighton
Department of sport and Outdoor Education, Hartpury College
February 1, 2011

Interesting book exploring theories and representations of the body.

Dr Linda Perkins-Porras
Dept of Community Health Sciences, University of London
September 15, 2010

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chris Shilling

Chris Shilling is Professor of Sociology in SSPSSR at the University of Kent at Canterbury, UK. Having completed a BA in Politics and an MA in Social and Political Thought at the University of Sussex, he was awarded his PhD in the Sociology of Education at The Open University. Growing increasingly dissatisfied with cognitive conceptions of agency and disembodied theories of social and cultural processes, his research and writing from the late 1980s has sought to contribute to the embodiment of sociology and sociological theory and to promote the interdisciplinary field of 'body studies.' He has lectured widely in Europe and North America,... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781412908320

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