We are all capable of taking our bodies for granted. We live in them (and through them) and they are out daily companions. Nut our bodies can also ‘go wrong’ or change in ways which we may not understand and often do not choose. Influenced by the social and cultural world in which we live, it is then that we begin to think about our bodies (and those of others). We make. At this point, pictures of the body we would like, rather than the body we have.

In this carefully collection of original essays, a number of established and younger scholars consider the ways in which ideas about the body and the ‘real’ body interact and intersect. Pitched as an accessible level and bringing together an exciting range of perspectives and issues, the book includes dedicated chapters on:

· Race

· Sexuality

· Masculinity

· Old Age

· Childhood

· Disability

· Fashion

· Food

· Pregnancy

· Pain

It is written at a level appropriate to a broad undergraduate readership but in a spirit of open enquiry which will appeal to many levels of debate.

Real Bodies

Palgrave Macmillan

London and New York, 2002

ISBN 0 333 94751 7