chapter  4
16 Pages

Towards a critical history of the body, identity and health: corporeal power and school practice


The social construction of bodies has in the past two decades emerged as a topic of increasing significance in social research. This scholarly interest in the body has covered a wide and diverse range of topics and has now generated a sufficiently large literature to warrant the publication of review articles and introductory textbooks (Cranny-Francis 1995). Along with Franks (1990) we might argue about the most adequate ways in which to discuss bringing society into the body and the body into society. At the same time, there appears to be an increasingly widespread understanding of the notion that the body is as much a social as it is a biological phenomenon, existing simultaneously in culture and nature.