The Body in Culture, Technology and Society (Published in by Chris Shilling

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By Chris Shilling

`This is a powerful booklet by way of one of many prime social theorists operating within the box of physique reports. It offers a serious summation of theoretical and significant paintings within the box thus far, whereas additionally offering a robust argument for a corporeal realism during which the physique is either generative of the emergent houses of social constitution and a position in their results. Its scope and originality make it a key element of reference for college kids and teachers in physique reports and within the social and cultural sciences extra regularly' - Ian Burkitt, Reader in Social technology, college of Bradford `Chris Shilling is as regularly a lucid advisor throughout the dense thickets of the "sociology of the body", and his chapters at the fields of labor, recreation, consuming, track and expertise brilliantly express how summary theoretical debates relate to the genuine global of people's lives' - Professor Stephen Mennell, collage university Dublin`What we're provided the following is... a step switch in point of view on "body issues" that's either leading edge and of basic value to a person engaged on this sociological terrain... this article is groundbreaking and easily should be learn' - Acta SociologicaThis is a milestone within the sociology of the physique. The e-book deals the main finished evaluate of the sector thus far and an cutting edge framework for the research of embodiment. it truly is based on a revised view of the relation of classical works to the physique. It argues that the physique can be learn as a multi-dimensional medium for the structure of society. Upon this beginning, the writer constructs a sequence of analyses of the physique and the economic system, tradition, sociality, paintings, game, track, meals and expertise.

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It is simplistic and unhelpful to suggest that we have to conceptualize the body–society relationship as governed either by biological essentialism or by social constructionism (Shilling, 1993, 2003; Sayer, 2000). 7 Durkheim’s concern with community and Simmel’s interest in individuality can be viewed as complementary rather than contradictory if we accept Durkheim’s point that individuality can be enhanced via incorporation into the collectivity, but also recognize Simmel’s point that too much immersion in a collectivity can blunt the individuality of the subject.

The very possibility of society, indeed, depends on physical, emotional, and psychical pain. This pain is not just associated with the denial of the egoistic elements of our instincts, but with the fact that the symbolic order of society that humans produce ‘can never succeed in mastering our sensations and in translating them completely into intelligible terms. : 153). Despite the fact that Durkheim clearly explicates the painful dimensions of the body’s status as a source of society, this is not simply a negative constraint on the individual (Durkheim, 1995 [1912]: 321).

Qxd 01/09/2004 10:44 Page 41 Classical Bodies Marx’s criticisms of the abstract conceptions of ‘man’ proposed by political economists, and empty conceptions of human rights which ignore historical circumstances. It is also explicit in his comments on the relative character of desire and pleasure which ‘spring from society; we measure them, therefore, by society and not by the objects which serve for their satisfaction. Because they are of a social nature, they are of a relative nature’ (Marx, 1968 [1849]: 83).

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