Call for Book Chapters: (Re)imagining body work

In sociology, ‘the body’ is currently examined in a multitude of ways and has an interesting and contested role in sociological thinking and research. However, while a significant corpus of theoretical literature (Turner, 1996; Shilling, 1993; Synnott, 1993; Featherstone, et al., 1991) has generated rich knowledge about the role of the body in everyday social life, ‘the body’ usually acts in such work simply as an abstract and overly theoretical object of investigation which scholars talk about.

But where is the researcher’s body in all the describing and interrogating talk about the body? Such a starting point involves an understanding of the human body by undertaking the lived experiences that permeates it. We title this call for proposals ‘(Re)imagining body work’ as a moniker to capture researchers who fully engage with their participants and their activities. Far from having an absent presence, this book foregrounds current embodied fieldwork of sociologists who discuss and explore the lived body as a topic of, and resource in, empirical social science.

The book is not a textbook on how to do qualitative research or fieldwork. The idea behind the book is to collect original and creative ‘body work’ in sociology which makes the body a focus of enquiry and supports more research from a current embodied fieldwork perspective.

Hence, this invitation for chapter proposals calls not just for traditional ‘on the ground’ ethnography, but also for innovative and adaptive methods in finding ways to address real-world encounters and specific challenges. Possible methodological approaches are:


Ethnography applied to the internet


Visual ethnography

Grounded theory

Case study


Mixed methods

This call is open to proposals that address all types of sociology pertaining to contemporary explorations of bodies, including, but are not limited to, discussions of the body in consumer culture, physical, sensual, and emotional experiences, virtual environments, dynamics of interaction, identity formation, cultural practices, regulation and control.

Proposals should include the contributor’s/author’s name, a brief biography, and an abstract (max. 500 words). Complete chapter lengths should be between 6000-8000 words. Please send proposals to Cornelia Mayr (

Deadline for proposals: 30th October, 2020


Shilling, C. (1993). The body and social theory. London: Sage Publications

Synnott, A. (1993). The Body Social. Symbolism, Self and Society. London: Routledge.

Turner, B. (1996). The Body & Society: Explorations in Social Theory. London: Sage Publications.

This proposal is due on October 30th 2020.

Page last updated on October 6th 2020. All information correct at the time, but subject to change.