THE BODY, IDENTITY AND SOCIETY

SHE Level 4
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code MHL320191
Module Leader Emmanuelle Tulle
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Sociology
Trimester
  • A (September start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

normally successful completion of a Sociology module at level 3

Summary of Content

The module will introduce students to the sociology of the body as a rapidly maturing sub-specialism of Sociology. Once left to the natural sciences, the body has been 'rediscovered' in Sociology. The sociology of the body considers the role played by the body in social location, social action, social change and identity. It relies on a wide range of social and sociological theories. It provides a critical account of bodies as constructed and controlled rather than as merely biological entities, whilst also focusing on the lived experience of bodies. It has given access to modes of embodiment and barriers to agency which had hitherto been excluded from sociological inquiry, including disabled and ageing embodiment, whilst also examining in details how modes of embodiment reflect social location (e.g. gender inequalities). Finally the sociology of the body interrogates the relationship between normative embodiment and wider societal processes, such as commodification, instrumentalisation, globalisation and medicalisation. The module will appeal to students with an interest in sociology but also students with an interest in the natural sciences and health-related issues. PRME-related issues / topics are covered in this module by focusing on the following themes: -360 - Develop critical skills to analyse normative embodiment and its implications for social inclusion/exclusion - Develop research skills and team spirit

Syllabus

The embodiment of sociology The mind/body relationship and the question of identity Social and sociological theorising and the body The controlled body/body object - incarceration, medicalisation, instrumentalisation and power (Foucault) The phenomenological turn (Merleau-Ponty) The body and the Civilising Process (Elias) Monstrous and abject bodies Bodies I: towards a phenomenology of disability The body, structure and agency (Bourdieu) The commodification of bodies - consumption, body modification and globalisation Bodies II: the social (re)construction of ageing bodies Bodies on the line - torture, desecration and bodies as weapon

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module, students should have acquired the following skills:- Demonstrate an understanding of the role of the body in social action, identity and social change- Identify the key local and global processes which shape normative and resistant embodiment- Understand the role of the mind/body relationship in different historical contexts- Identify key sociological theories which account for embodiment - Examine critically the ability of social actors to control their embodiment

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The module will be delivered in such a way as to develop independent and group scholarship, including research and literature search skills, critical inquiry and broaden the sociological imagination. To this end, the module will rely on a balanced mix of teaching and learning techniques, including traditional lectures, seminar classes and VLE-based discussion groups. Students will be working in groups to examine in detail specific types of embodiment. The students will engage in group discussions in which they will document their strategies for research and the development of their ideas in relation to their project. They will produce a joint multi-media project using VLE. Topics will be available from the module leader, on a first come first served basis.

Indicative Reading

prBarry, A., Osborne, T., Rose, N., Osborne, T. & Rose, N. 1996, Foucault and Political Reason: Liberalism, neo-liberalism and rationalities of government, UCL Press, London. -415 Calhoun, C., LiPuma, E., Postone, M., LiPuma, E. & Postone, M. 1993, Bourdieu: Critical Perspectives, Polity Press, Cambridge. Faircloth, C.A. 2003, Aging Bodies: Images & Everyday Experience, AltaMira PressFaircloth, C.A, Walnut Creek, CA. Featherstone, M., Hepworth, M., Turner, B.S., Hepworth, M. & Turner, B.S. 1991, The Body: Social Process and Cultural Theory, Sage, London. Barry, A., Osborne, T., Rose, N., Osborne, T. & Rose, N. 1996, Foucault and Political Reason: Liberalism, neo-liberalism and rationalities of government, UCL Press, London. -415 Calhoun, C., LiPuma, E., Postone, M., LiPuma, E. & Postone, M. 1993, Bourdieu: Critical Perspectives, Polity Press, Cambridge. Faircloth, C.A. 2003, Aging Bodies: Images & Everyday Experience, AltaMira PressFaircloth, C.A, Walnut Creek, CA. Featherstone, M., Hepworth, M., Turner, B.S., Hepworth, M. & Turner, B.S. 1991, The Body: Social Process and Cultural Theory, Sage, London. Hancock, P. Hughes, B, Jagger, E., Paterson, K., Russell, R. and Tulle-Winton, E. (eds) 2000, The Body, Culture and Society: An introduction , Open University Press, Buckingham. Katz, S. 1996, Disciplining Old Age: The Formation of Gerontological Knowledge, University Press of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va. Mellor, P.A. & Shilling, C. 1997, Re-forming the Body: Religion, Community and Modernity, Sage, London. Shilling, C. 2003, The Body and Social Theory, Sage, London. Tulle, E. 2008, Ageing, the body and social change: running in later life, Palgrave, Basingstoke. Turner, B.S. 2001, "Disability and the Sociology of the Body" in Handbook of Disability Studies , eds. G.L. Albrecht, K.D. Seelman & M. Bury, Sage, Thousand Oaks, Ca., pp. 252-266. Turner, B.S. 1996, The Body and Society, Sage, London. Turner, B.S. 1992, Regulating Bodies: Essays in Medical Sociology, Routledge, London. Journals : Body & Society, Disability & Society, Sociology, Theory, Culture and Society

Transferrable Skills

By the end of this module students will have gained competence in the following key areas: -360fc Critical analysis/reflection on complex contemporary social issues fc Communication skills using VLE fc Leadership fc Independent learning fc Scholarship and research inquiry fc Developing reasoned and evidence based argument fc Personal organisation and time management

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Lectures 12.00
Independent Learning Hours 140.00
Assessment 24.00
Workshop 12.00
Practical 12.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
diary n/a 10.00 n/a module diary (online)
project n/a 40.00 n/a group project (online)
essay n/a 50.00 n/a 3000 word essay