Unpacking Sexual Embodiment and Embodied Resistance

Breanne Fahs, Eric Swank

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

8 Scopus citations


The body and its relationship to the social world has provoked, fascinated, and perplexed social scientists, natural scientists, feminist theorists, and historians alike. This chapter examines the notion of embodiment, or how the body operates both as a corporeal or physical subject and as a social and psychological subject. Specifically, we trace key conflicts and debates around defining and measuring embodiment, followed by a review of embodiment over the lifespan (childhood, adolescence, adulthood, old age) and an examination of sexual performance and embodiment. We conclude with a discussion of embodiment as it relates to social identities like LGBT identity, race, gender, and class, followed by a discussion of embodied resistance or how people with stigmatized bodies fight back, imagine bodies outside the norm, transform the idea of a “freak,” or map on political philosophies onto the body.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbooks of Sociology and Social Research
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages19
StatePublished - 2015

Publication series

NameHandbooks of Sociology and Social Research
ISSN (Print)1389-6903
ISSN (Electronic)2542-839X


  • Body norms
  • Embodiment
  • Resistance
  • Sexuality
  • Social identities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Social Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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