Sociolog(ies) of the Body

Intermediate—Spring
The body is a socially constructed entity that is intimately connected to oursubjectivity in such a way that it formulates consciousness and identity. The body risesout of interactions and the practices and performances that at once developand sustain self but are also constructed by society and the order of things.The body is, therefore, an object and a subject; and it is the process ofembodiment, of the subject filling in the object, that: 1) reflexively defines one’sidentity; and 2) simultaneously constructs a symbolic meaning and significanceof a body for the social world. This intermediate-level seminar explores howthis embodiment occurs and the various modes from which it does. Weexamine the narratives that we tell ourselves, the discourses told of us, and thestories that others tell of themselves. In doing so, we traverse the breadth of theories and issues that make up sociolog(ies) of the body: from the politics ofgender, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation to piercing and tattoos, from preoccupations with the healthy and ill body to alterations like plasticsurgery and human genetic engineering.