Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Engaging ideas, transforming minds

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296 pages
6.75 x 9.75 inches
July 2021
Print ISBN: 9781773382586


How do we perceive ourselves and our bodies in relation to our physical, geographical, social, cultural, political, psychological, and spiritual environments? Body Studies in Canada uses intersectional methodological and theoretical frameworks to discuss the political and socio-historical discourses that shape body studies in Canadian society.

This edited volume delves into a variety of timely topics including postcolonial “othering” of the body; social discourses around healthy and un-healthy bodies; intersections of aging, gender, race, class, and size; the fitness industries’ promotion of the “ideal” body; the gendering of bodywork symbols and expressions in carceral environments; and self-awareness of “the body” in social and digital media.

In thirteen chapters, editor Valerie Zawilski brings together scholars from a wide variety of disciplines and expertise to provide an interdisciplinary perspective on how the body interacts reflexively with society. This collection is a foundational text for sociology of the body and body studies courses, as well as gender studies, political science, and health studies.


  • provides a uniquely Canadian perspective on body studies and the surrounding historical and political issues, with a focus on decolonization, racialization, masculinities, engagement with critical weight scholarship, and immigration
  • pedagogical features include section introductions, boxed inserts highlighting key concepts, learning objectives, questions for critical thinking, and a glossary

Table of Contents



Part I: Bodywork Narratives

Chapter 1: The Hidden Embodied Stories behind Diabetes as Racialized Health Disparities
Leslie Dawson

Chapter 2: (Re)Storying Indigenous Womanhood: Reclaiming Selfhood and Resisting Colonial Dismemberment
Tamara Bernard

Chapter 3: Gendered Status Hierarchies among US and Canadian Youth: Athletic Ability and Physical Attractiveness
Joseph H. Michalski

Chapter 4: Fat Reclamation and Identity Management in the Canadian Context
Heather Plyley and Annette Burfoot

Chapter 5: Women Moving into Later Life: Aging Bodies, Changing Identities
Nancy Mandell and Lois Kamenitz
Part II: Healthy Bodywork

Chapter 6: Bartering with Fate: Imagination, Health, and the Body
Margaret MacNeill and Debra Kriger

Chapter 7: “It Was Such Good Medicine for Me”: Contesting the Body Project of Yoga, Health, and Ideal Femininity
Judith Mintz

Chapter 8: Conceptualizing the Aging Body in Fitness Instructor Training Curricula
Kelsey Harvey and Meridith Griffin

Chapter 9: The Myth of Healthiness: Rethinking the Boundaries between Healthy Selves and Unhealthy Others in Drug Addiction Treatment
Ana M. Ning
Part III: Political Bodywork

Chapter 10: Power and the Body: Iranian Female Immigrants’ Perceptions and Experiences of Bodily Freedoms in Iran and Canada
Bahar Tajrobehkar

Chapter 11: Physical Activity, Bodywork, and the Construction of Masculinities in Canadian Men’s Federal Prisons
Mark Norman, Rosemary Ricciardelli, and James Gillett

Chapter 12: Caged Bodies: Gendered Responses to the Carceral Challenges of Detention during the G20 Summit in Toronto, June 26–28, 2010
Valerie Zawilski

Chapter 13: The Undignified Body: Excremental Assault in Canadian Nursing Homes
Donna Lynn Smith, Megan Aiken, Amy Gerlock, and John Church



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