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

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Professor Dennis Waskul, Professor Phillip Vannini
Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., Dec 28, 2012 - Social Science - 312 pages

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.

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Chapter 14; "Eating the Black Body" does not cite or credit Carlyle Van Thompson's "Eating the Black Body: Miscegenation as Sexual Consumption in African American Literature and Culture; Peter Lang Publishing Inc., New York, NY (2006.) However, the work and content is nearly identical to Carlyle Van Thompson's book, which raises a significant ethical concern of the possibility of plagiarism. 

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About the author (2012)

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.

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