Bodies at Work by Carol Wolkowitz

By Carol Wolkowitz

After analyzing this e-book will probably be more challenging to ''do'' the sociology of labor and the sociology of the physique within the absence of the opposite. In a few really beautiful methods it throws down a problem which practitioners in either fields will locate tricky to disregard' - Paul Stewart, former editor of labor, Employment and Society, collage of the West of England

Bodies at paintings offers the 1st full-length, obtainable account of the body/work relation in modern western societies. Bringing jointly fields of sociology that experience hitherto constructed ordinarily alongside separate traces, the publication demonstrates the relevance of options constructed within the sociology of the physique for enriching our knowing of fixing styles of labor and employment.

Bodies at paintings starts through constructing key matters in either the sociology of the physique and the sociology of labor. Drawing on current study, the writer proceeds to envision quite a lot of employment sectors: business employment; patron relatives; health and wellbeing perform; care paintings; the wonder undefined; and intercourse paintings. The contribution of feminist thought and examine is highlighted all through, and analyses of pictures aid the reader conceptualise the altering nature of the body/work courting through the years. Bodies at paintings is helping readers imagine extra truly and creatively approximately how paintings kin form physically event.

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We are now in a position to consider more fully the absence of work in the sociology of the body. The approaches outlined above provide a gamut of ideas through which to explore the body/work nexus, but their application is not easy, since none brings work or employment into view as a central concern. In the first place, none of the key influences is particularly interested in the workplace as a distinctive environment. For instance, Goffman drew his examples from a wide range of encounters, including the workplace, but used them to illustrate the skill required for the performance and interpretation of embodied symbolic interaction across the institutions of public life.

Qxd 6/16/2006 10:12 AM Page 22 BODIES AT WORK evenly distributed across social fields, being perhaps more available in the domain of sexuality and gender, as Harvey (1998) argues, than in the labour process. The second main theme in the sociology of the body is the relationship between body and self, which is particularly prominent in Goffman’s (1969, 1963) conception of the presentation of self in everyday life as well as his conceptualisation of stigma. Foucault’s concern in his later work with the production of subjects through their ‘practices of the self’ could also be seen as an example.

Probably the single most influential figure in the sociology of the body has been Michel Foucault. This is because his theorisation of the management of social life sees power targeting the individual primarily through their body. Whereas Marx identified the key moment in the constitution of society as the appropriation of ‘labour power’, Foucault’s focus was what he called ‘biopower’: the increasingly rationalised management of biological matter through technologies of surveillance, expert knowledges and corrective measures (Foucault 1979).

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