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Societies 2013, 3(3), 261-265; doi:10.3390/soc3030261

Afterword: Embodiment, Social Order, and the Classification of Humans as Waste

School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, University of Kent, CNE114, Cornwallis North East, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NF, UK
Received: 7 June 2013 / Accepted: 17 June 2013 / Published: 24 June 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Embodied Action, Embodied Theory: Understanding the Body in Society)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [132 KB, 25 June 2013; original version 24 June 2013]


The rise of body studies has, since its development in the early 1980s, been characterized by a resilience and creativity that shows no signs of abating. There are various reasons for this success, but two are especially worthy of note. Socially informed studies of the materialities, capacities and connectedness of body subjects have maintained their capacity to advance disciplinary, cross-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary work on the subject into new agendas [1,2]. Additionally, emerging studies in the field continue to facilitate a sustained interrogation of those residual categories that have helped to define, but also restrict, the reach and ambition of sociology and related disciplines, and advance our understanding of social actions, social relationships and societies. Thus, in contrast to the traditional sociological concern with abstract ‘social facts’ that threatened, at times, to render redundant a focus on the physical constitution of those subject to them [3], sociologists of embodiment have explored the corporeal consequences of social structures, while also highlighting how the bodily components of agency and interaction were affected by, and became meaningful to people through, such factors as health, illness and dis/ability.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Shilling, C. Afterword: Embodiment, Social Order, and the Classification of Humans as Waste. Societies 2013, 3, 261-265.

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