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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2023-24

SOCY 79.06 Sociology of the Body

Can social life exist without bodies? How can attention to the body influence our understanding of social processes of subjectivity, interaction, and practice? While the body has long been an "absent presence" in sociology, multiple approaches to theorizing and researching the body have emerged in recent decades. A sociological approach to the body and embodiment provides an opportunity to bridge the gap between everyday experience and analyses of broad social structures which can seem disconnected from daily life. In this course, we will examine the processes by which individual bodies are shaped by and, in turn, shape social life. Key questions to be explored include: how are bodies regulated by social forces; how do individuals perform the body and how does interactional context influence this performance; what is the meaning of the body in social life; and is there a "right" body?

Degree Requirement Attributes


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