One Answer

  1. Combining diverse approaches under the label of “sociology of the body” is accompanied by a certain slyness, and the sociology of the body as a single tradition of thinking does not exist today. In 1984, the gap in the sociological understanding of the body was pointed out by B. Turner, one of the founders of the journal “Body & Society”, who published the book of the same name”The Body and Society: Explorations in Social Theory”. Since then, the work has gone through its third edition (2008), and sociological theory has made several broad steps forward in the development of problems, but it has not been able to cope with its heterogeneity: a common understanding of the body and corporeality has not been developed for all authors. (And it is unlikely to be possible.)

    On the one hand, this is due to the fact that the topic is significant for related theoretical fields: history and anthropology, phenomenological philosophy and psychology, philosophy of medicine and psychiatry, sociology of medicine, gender studies, etc.; the list is far from complete and can be expanded. The borrowing of “body” intuitions, metaphors, and concepts between sociology and other disciplines occurs continuously, but does not change the general configuration of ways of description.

    In this respect, the source of the problem is more important: Cartesian dualism, which has trapped sociology in the grip of res extensa and res cogitans. Where is the “body” localized? And in what sense is the body a spatial phenomenon? Can, for example, a sociological theory work with a body understood in a phenomenological way – with “Leib”, and not “Körper” (lived body / material body – English-language analogs of distinction)? The answer to these questions will set its own logic of analysis and form its own list of references, as well as its own agenda for a sociological enterprise. Or its revision.

    The history of the relationship between sociology and corporeality deserves its own four-volume set (at least) “War and peace”, and my answer certainly needs to be supplemented.

    A few of the works:

    Bourdieu P. Masculine Domination. California: Stanford University Press, 2001.

    Butler J. Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of «Sex». New York & London: Routledge, 1993.

    Cregan K. The Sociology of the Body: Mapping the Abstraction of Embodiment. London: SAGE Publications Ltd., 2006.

    Howson A., Inglis D. The body in sociology: tensions inside and outside sociological thought // The Sociological Review. 2001. Vol. 49 (4). P. 297-317.

    Latour B. How to Talk About the Body? The Normative Dimension of Science Studies // Body & Society. 2004. Vol. 10 (2-3). P. 205-229. (Translation: Latour B. How to talk about the body? Normativnoe izmerenie issledovaniy nauki [Normative measurement of research in Science] // Metamorphoses of physicality / Edited by I. V. Kuzin, St. Petersburg: RKHGA Publishing House, 2015, pp. 250-287.)

    Mol A. The body multiple: ontology in medical practice, Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2002.

    Shilling C. Sociology and the Body: Classic Traditions and New Agendas // The Sociological Review. 2007. №55(1). P. 1–18.

    Shilling C. The Body in Culture, Technology and Society. London: SAGE Publications Ltd., 2005.

    Turner B. The Body and Society: Explorations in Social Theory. Third Edition. London: SAGE Publications Ltd., 2008.

    Simmel G. Exkurs über die Soziologie der Sinne. in Simmel G. Soziologie. Untersuchungen iiber die Formen der Vergesellschaftung (Gesamtausgabe, Bd. 11). Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1992. S. 722- 742.

    Giddens E. Transformation of intimacy: sexuality, love and eroticism in modern societies / Translated from English by V. Anurina. St. Petersburg: Peter, 2004.

    I. Hoffman. Presenting yourself to others in everyday life / Translated from English and intro. article by A. D. Kovalev, Moscow: Kanon-Press-Ts, Kuchkovo pole Publ., 2000.

    Douglas M. Purity and Danger. Analysis of ideas about desecration and taboo / Translated under the editorship of S. P. Bankovskaya, Moscow: Kanon-Press-Ts., 2000.

    Le Goff J., Truon N. Istoriya tela v sredniye veka [The History of the Body in the Middle Ages].

    Moss M. Tehniki tela [Body techniques]. Exchange. Personality. Trudy po sotsial'noi antropologii [Works on social anthropology] / Translated from French, preface, introduction, article, comments by A. B. Hoffman. Moscow: KDU, 2011. pp. 304-325.

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