Body and Culture (A Longman Topics Reader), 1st edition

  • Greg Lyons


Part of the Longman Topics reader series, Body and Culture is not simply about the impact of our society on our physical appearance. Rather, it almost ignores the physicality of the body and, instead, treats it as a medium through which a person can express his or her culture.


This collection of readings explores the ideas and ethics behind the choices made in reacting to and expressing culture. It is also important to understand the consequences of culture’s toll on the body. The text includes six chapters, which break up the essays according to the aspect of culture affecting the body. These influences include a wide range such as psychology, media, and dance. Each chapter includes a section entitled ‘Topics for Exploration and Writing’ that is designed to aid in introducing students to approaching and considering an essay topic.

“Longman Topics” are brief, attractive readers on a single, complex, but compelling topic. Featuring about 30 full-length selections, these volumes are generally half the size and half the cost of standard composition readers.

Table of contents


Introduction: Writing in Country

1. Mind, Body, Spirit

Norman Cousins, Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient

Joan and Miroslav Borysenko, Psychoneuroimmunology: Where Mind and Body Meet

Jack Kornfield, Necessary Healing

Topics for Exploration and Writing

2. Sports and Difference

Stuart Ewen, Hard Bodies

Michael A. Messner, Sport and Gender Relations: Continuity, Contradiction, and Change

Becky Beal, Alternative Masculinity and Its Effect on Gender Relations in the Subculture of Skateboarding

Malcolm Gladwell, The Sports Taboo

Topics for Exploration and Writing

3. Body Modification

Arnold Rubin, Marks of Civilization

Philippe Liotard, The Body Jigsaw

Shannon Bell, Tattooed: A Participant Observer’s Exploration of Meaning

Joe Woodard, Pumped, Pierced, Painted and Pagan

Theodore Dalrymple, Marks of Shame: Tattoos and What to Do about Them

Topics for Exploration and Writing

4. Body, Image, Media

Judith Ortiz Cofer, Story of My Body”

Susan Bordo, Never Just Pictures: Bodies and Fantasies

Carol Moog, Media Mirrors

Diane Barthel, A Gentleman and a Consumer

Topics for Exploration and Writing

5. Medicine and Technology

Robin Marantz Henig, Pandora’s Baby

Laura Hershey, Choosing Disability”

Ian Wilmut, Cloning for Medicine

Nancy Scheper-Hughes, Keeping an Eye on the Global Traffic in Human Organs

Joshua Wolf Shenk, America’s Altered States

Topics for Exploration and Writing

6. Dance

Martha Graham, I Am a Dancer

Havelock Ellis, The Art of Dancing

Peter Braunstein, Disco

Marion Rudin Frank, Ballet as a Way of Knowing

Topics for Exploration and Writing


For teachers

All the material you need to teach your courses.

Discover teaching material

Published by Pearson (September 29th 2005) - Copyright © 2006