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Jul 04, 2023

Body, Culture and Society

Learning outcome 1: Demonstrate a systematic and critical evaluation of the theoretical and social constructions of embodiment and the body in late modernity.

Learning outcome 2: Demonstrate critical evaluation of the widening scope of science and medicine and the media as forms of social control in relation to the body.

Learning outcome 3: Critically analyse and evaluate the social influences on the body and how they are represented.

Learning outcome 4: Critically evaluate current theoretical approaches about health, illness and social patterning of health, in relation to policies and "healthiest" societies.

Learning outcome 5: Critically appraise the relationship between the body, art and media.

Case Study

Assignment task: Write a case study of 2500 words (+/- 10%, excluding reference lists and appendices of materials used) on the same topic you chose from the list of options below for assignment CW1 (the annotated bibliography). This case study will critically analyse the construction of the body and embodiment in contemporary society and culture, and evaluate concepts and theoretical accounts through which the body and embodiment are understood.

The case study should be constructed in the style of a portfolio of a range ‘real world` empirical sources (e.g. policy documents, media reports, documentaries, works of art or literature) that illustrate aspects of the ways in which the bodies in question are represented and produced, and how they are experienced.

Your analyses should be informed by, and should critically engage with, relevant theoretical literature, and employ additional empirical evidence to support claims where appropriate.

While you can focus on aspects of the topic you consider most significant, your analysis should substantially address the following three issues:

• Embodied experiences of health and/or illness (which may include mental health/illness, wellbeing, etc) and the social construction and patterning of these;
• Representations of bodies in art and/or media; and
• Forms of regulation or social control of bodies, which may include medical and/or media
discourses and practices.

Include a brief introduction identifying your topic and providing some context for the analysis that will follow, and a conclusion reflecting on the significance of key points you have made.

Possible topics are listed below, as a reminder:

• Media representations of women`s and/or men`s bodies
• The anorexic body and social influences
• Fat bodies and obesity prevention
• Intersex bodies
• Cultures of body enhancement and/or body shaming
• Tattoos and body marking
• FGM and modification of the female body
• Changing social meanings of HIV/AIDS
• Transgender bodies in society
• Meanings and politics of Muslim bodies and clothing (e.g. hijab, niqab, burqa)
• Black bodies in society and culture
• The influence of pornography on sexuality
• Embodied experiences of illness

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