Body/Embodiment: Symbolic Interaction and the Sociology of the Body

Body/Embodiment: Symbolic Interaction and the Sociology of the Body

by Dennis Waskul, Phillip Vannini

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The body and experiences of embodiment have generated a rich and diverse sociological literature. This volume articulates and illustrates one major approach to the sociology of the body: symbolic interactionism, an increasingly prevalent theoretical base of contemporary sociology derived from the pragmatism of writers such as John Dewey, William James, Charles Peirce, Charles Cooley and George Herbert Mead.

The authors argue that, from an interactionist perspective, the body is much more than a tangible, corporeal object – it is a vessel of great significance to the individual and society. From this perspective, body, self and social interaction are intimately interrelated and constantly reconfigured.

The collection constitutes a unique anthology of empirical research on the body, from health and illness to sexuality, from beauty and imagery to bodily performance in sport and art, and from mediated communication to plastic surgery. The contributions are informed by innovative interactionist theory, offering fresh insights into one of the fastest growing sub-disciplines of sociology and cultural studies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781409490616
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing Ltd
Publication date: 12/28/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Dennis D. Waskul is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Minnesota State University Mankato, USA. His empirical and theoretical articles have been published in Symbolic Interaction, New Media & Society, The Information Society, and Sociological Spectrum. His research interests have been largely organized around the dynamics of embodiment, with special interest in liminal circumstances where fantasy, imagination, and reality coexist.

Phillip Vannini is a Research Fellow in the School of Communication and Culture at Royal Roads University in Victoria, Canada. He has published theory and research dealing with semiotics and symbolic interactionism, and the semiotics of the body in the following journals: Journal of Popular Culture, CTheory, Cultural Studies - Critical Methodologies, Studies in Symbolic Interaction, and Symbolic Interaction.

Contributors: Dennis D. Waskul, Phillip Vannini, Nick Crossley, Kathy Charmaz, Dana Rosenfeld, Douglas Schrock, Emily Boyd, Spencer E. Cahill, Carol Brooks Gardner, William P. Gronfein, Paul Atkinson, Neil Stephens, Sara Delamont, Lee F. Monaghan, Keri Brandt, Joseph Kotarba, Matt Held, Richard Huggins, Erica Owens, Bronwyn Beistle, Carol Rambo, Sara Renée Presley, Don Mynatt, Charles Edgley, Michael Atkinson, Rachel Westfall, Clinton R. Sanders.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction: The body and symbolic interaction, Dennis D. Waskul and Phillip Vannini. The Looking-Glass Body: Reflexivity as Embodiment: The networked body and the question of reflexivity, Nick Crossley; Reflections of the body, images of self: visibility and invisibility in chronic illness and disability, Kathy Charmaz and Dana Rosenfeld; Reflexive transembodiment, Douglas Schrock and Emily Boyd. The Dramaturgical Body: Body as Performance: Building bodily boundaries: embodied enactment and experience, Spencer E. Cahill; Body armor: managing disability and the precariousness of the territories of the self, Carol Brooks Gardner and William P. Gronfein; Opera and the embodiment of performance, Paul Atkinson; Samba no mar: bodies, movement, and idiom in Capoeira, Neil Stephens and Sara Delamont. The Phenomenological Body: Body as Province of Meaning: Corporeal indeterminacy: the value of embodied, interpretive sociology, Lee F. Monaghan; Intelligent bodies: embodied subjectivity and human-horse communication, Keri Brandt; Professional female football players: tackling like a girl?, Joseph Kotarba and Matt Held; The addict's body: embodiment, drug use, and representation, Richard Huggins. The Socio-Semiotic Body: Body as Trace of Culture: Body ekstasis: socio-semiotic reflections on surpassing the dualism of body-image, Phillip Vannini and Dennis D. Waskul; Eating the black body: interracial desire, food metaphor and white fear, Erica Owens and Bronwyn Beistle; Claiming the bodies of exotic dancers: the problematic discourse of commodification, Carol Rambo, Sara Renée Presley and Don Mynatt. The Narrative Body: Body as Story: The fit and healthy body: consumer narratives and the management of postmodern corporeity, Charles Edgley; Masks of masculinity: (sur)passing narratives and cosmetic surgery, Michael Atkinson; The pregnant/birthing body: negotiations of personal autonomy, Rachel Westfall. Conclusion: Viewing the body: an overview, exploration and extension, Clinton R. Sanders; Index.

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