Review: Reiner Keller & Michael Meuser (Eds.). Körperwissen [Knowledge of the Body]
Over recent years, the new sociology of knowledge has become increasingly interested in issues and debates about the ways in which the body features in people's actions and experience of the social world—debates that over the past two decades have also arisen within the sociology of the body. The edited collection reviewed here is based on the contributions to a conference jointly organised in 2010 by two sections of the German Sociology Association's (DGS): the section "Sociology of Knowledge" and the section "Sociology of the Body and Sociology of Sport." The book contains a variety of theoretical and empirical papers that analyse how "knowledge of the body" features in people's actions and everyday experiences, as well as how it is communicated. To guide the debate, the editors use their introductory chapter to differentiate between "knowledge of the body" and "knowledge about the body." This distinction proves very useful in drawing relationships between the individual contributions, which are based on studies from very diverse domains, including the discourse on sexuality, cosmetic surgery and General Practice, as well as exhibitions about the body, pedagogical concepts of the body and the body in martial arts training. It also supports linkages between the theoretical papers in the first part of the volume and the empirical analyses of the later contributions. This edited volume will be of interest to anyone with a background in the sociology of knowledge and the sociology of the body conducting research and contributing to sociological debates on the relationship between the body and knowledge.