chapter  13
14 Pages

‘Liminal’ bodies?

Sleep, death and dying
BySimon J. Williams

In this chapter I take a closer look at two aspects of embodiment which both, in their different ways, serve to delimit our conscious (waking) involvement in society. The first of these, the dormant matter of sleep, has received surprisingly little sociological attention to date. The second, in contrast, the mortal matter of death and dying, is now a thriving sub-field of sociological inquiry. Both these matters, I shall argue, not only throw corporeal issues of liminality – the ‘in-between’ (cf. Van Gennep 1960/1909) – into critical relief, they also underline the need for new (irreducible) ways of incorporating the biological into sociological discussion and debate.1