Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research

Making sense of the social world


 

About

I am Professor of Sociology at, and Director of Graduate Studies (Research) for, the University of Kent’s School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (SSPSSR).

My main teaching interests are in the areas of the body in culture and society, in sociological theory, and in the sociology of religion. PhD students are currently studying with me in areas concerned with the theory and analysis of embodiment and what I refer to as body pedagogics.

My written work ranges across these and related areas, though is held together by a foundational concern with the significance of embodiment for the study of society and humanity. Issues relating to embodiment have become increasingly important across the social sciences and humanities and have stimulated a major reconstruction of disciplinary and inter-disciplinary work, as the limitations of linguistic turns have become apparent and as scholars interrogate, once again, issues pertaining to materiality. The generative, receptive, permeable and performative characteristics and capacities of embodied subjects and inter-corporeal relations are key to these concerns. My best known book is probably The Body and Social Theory (Sage Press, Theory, Culture & Society series, 1993) which has been translated widely (including into Arabic) with the third edition being published in September 2012.

Other books include: Schooling for Work in Capitalist Britain (Falmer / 1989); The TVEI Story: Policy, Practice and Preparation for the Workforce (Joint author and editor with R. Dale et al. Open University Press, 1990); Re-forming the Body: Religion, Community, Modernity (Sage / TCS, 1997) (with Philip A. Mellor); The Sociological Ambition (Sage / TCS, 2001) (with Philip A. Mellor); The Body in Culture, Technology and Society (Sage / TCS, 2005); Changing Bodies. Habit, Crisis and Creativity (Sage / TCS, 2008); Embodying Sociology (Editor, Blackwells / The Sociological Review Monograph Series, 2007); and Sociology of the Sacred: Religion, Embodiment and Social Change (Sage / TCS, 2014, with P.A. Mellor). I am also author of the Oxford University Press VSI entitled The Body (January 2016).

My latest monograph focuses on how key sociological approaches and problems enable us to explore contemporary events. It includes chapters on social order; social change; Bodies and Health; Sex, Gender and Sexuality; Work; Finance; New Social Media and the Internet; Technology and AI, Religion; and Governance. It is entitled Uncovering Social Life. Critical Perspectives from Sociology (with P.A. Mellor), is published by Routledge, and is designed to be both a novel contribution to the discipline and a resource for use with year 2 and 3 undergraduates.

Career

I joined SSPSSR in 2007 after spending a couple of decades on the south coast of England at the Universities of Southampton and Portsmouth and, before that, a rather briefer period of time at what was then called Oxford Polytechnic.

Education

I studied for a BA (Hons) in Politics and an MA in Social and Political Thought from the University of Sussex, and trained as a secondary school teacher in the social sciences before earning my PhD at the Open University.

 

Contact Information

Address

Room E235, Cornwallis East
SSPSSR
University of Kent
Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NF

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Publications

Routledge website Amazon website Amazon website Amazon website Amazon website

Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository

Article
Shilling, C. (2017). Embodying Culture: Body Pedagogics, Situated Encounters and Empirical Research. Sociological Review [Online]. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0038026117716630.
Shilling, C. (2016). Embodiment, emozioni e fondamenti dell'ordine sociale: il perdurante contributo di Durkheim. Politica [Online]. Available at: http://www.rivistapolitica.eu/embodiment-emozioni-e-fondamenti-dellordine-sociale-il-perdurante-contributo-di-durkheim/.
Mellor, P. and Shilling, C. (2016). Arbitrage, Uncertainty and the New Ethos of Capitalism. The Sociological Review [Online] 65:21-36. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-954X.12416.
Shilling, C. (2016). The rise of body studies and the embodiment of society: A review of the field. Horizons in Humanities and Social Sciences: An International Refereed Journal [Online] 2:1-14. Available at: http://journals.sfu.ca/hhss/index.php/hhss/article/view/39.
Shilling, C. (2016). Body Pedagogics: Embodiment, Cognition and Cultural Transmission. Sociology [Online]. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0038038516641868.
Shilling, C. and Mellor, P. (2015). For a Sociology of Deceit: Doubled Identities, Interested Actions and Situational Logics of Opportunity. Sociology [Online] 49:607-623. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0038038514546661.
Shilling, C. and Mellor, P. (2014). Re-conceptualising the religious habitus: Reflexivity and embodied subjectivity in global modernity. Culture and Religion [Online] 15:275-297. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14755610.2014.942328.
Shilling, C. and Bunsell, T. (2014). From iron maiden to superwoman: The stochastic art of self-transformation and the deviant female sporting body. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health [Online] 6:478-798. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/2159676X.2014.928897.
Shilling, C. and Mellor, P. (2014). Reconceptualising sport as a sacred phenomenon. Sociology of Sport Journal [Online] 31:349-376. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/ssj.2013-0034.
Shilling, C. and Mellor, P. (2013). 'Making things sacred': Re-theorizing the nature and function of sacrifice in modernity. Journal of Classical Sociology [Online] 13:319-337. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1468795X13480643 .
Shilling, C. (2013). Afterword: Embodiment, Social Order, and the Classification of Humans as Waste. Societies [Online] 3:261-265. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/soc3030261.
Shilling, C. (2011). Afterword: Body work and the sociological tradition. Sociology of Health & Illness [Online] 33:336-340. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9566.2010.01309.x.
Mellor, P. and Shilling, C. (2011). Body pedagogics and the religious habitus: A new direction for thesociological study of religion. Religion [Online] 40:27-38. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.religion.2009.07.001.
Shilling, C. and Mellor, P. (2011). Retheorising Emile Durkheim on society and religion: embodiment, intoxication and collective life. Sociological Review [Online] 59:17-41. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-954X.2010.01990.x.
Shilling, C. and Mellor, P. (2010). Saved from pain or saved through pain? Modernity, instrumentalization and the religious use of pain as a body technique. European Journal of Social Theory [Online] 13:521-537. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1368431010382763.
Shilling, C. and Mellor, P. (2010). 'Body pedagogics and the religious habitus: A new direction for the sociological study of religion', . Religion [Online] 40:27-38. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.religion.2009.07.001.
Shilling, C. and Mellor, P. (2010). Sociology and the problem of eroticism. Sociology: the journal of the British Sociological Association [Online] 44:435-452. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0038038510362475 .
Shilling, C. (2010). 'Exploring the society-body-school nexus: theoretical and methodology issues in the study of body pedagogics'. Sport, Education and Society [Online] 15:151-168. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13573321003683786.
Shilling, C. and Bunsell, T. (2009). The female bodybuilder as a gender outlaw. Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise [Online] 1:141-159. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19398440902909009 .
Shilling, C. and Mellor, P. (2007). 'Cultures of embodied experience: Technology, religion and body pedagogics'. Sociological Review [Online] 55:531-549. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-954X.2007.00721.x.
Shilling, C. (2005). The rise of the body and the development of sociology. Sociology [Online] 39:761-767. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0038038505056034 .
Shilling, C. (2004). Physical capital and situated action: a new direction for corporeal sociology . British Journal of Sociology of Education [Online] 25:473-487. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0142569042000236961.
Shilling, C. (2002). Culture, the "sick role" and the consumption of health'. British Journal of Sociology [Online] 53:621-638. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0007131022000021515.
Shilling, C. (2001). Embodiment, experience and theory. In defence of the sociological tradition . Sociological Review [Online] 49:327-344. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-954X.00335.
Shilling, C. (1999). Towards an embodied understanding of the structure/agency relationship. British Journal of Sociology [Online] 50:543-562. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-4446.1999.00543.x.
Shilling, C. and Mellor, P. (1998). Durkheim, Morality and Modernity: Collective Effervescence, Homo Duplex and the Sources of Moral Action. British Journal of Sociology 49:193-209.
Shilling, C. (1997). Emotions, embodiment and the sensation of society. Sociological Review [Online] 45:195-219. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-954X.00061.
Shilling, C. (1997). The Undersocialised Conception of the Embodied Agent in Modern Sociology. Sociology [Online] 31:737-754 . Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0038038597031004006 .
Shilling, C. and Mellor, P. (1996). Embodiment, Structuration Theory and Modernity: Mind/Body Dualism and the Repression of Sensuality. Body and Society 2:1-15.
Shilling, C. and Mellor, P. (1994). Reflexive Modernity and the Religious Body. Religion 24:23-42.
Mellor, P. and Shilling, C. (1993). Modernity, Self-Identity and the Sequestration of Death. Sociology [Online] 27:411-431. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0038038593027003005 .
Shilling, C. (1992). Reconceptualising Structure and Agency in the Sociology of Education: structuration theory and schooling. British Journal of Sociology of Education [Online] 13:69-87. Available at: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1392858.
Shilling, C. (1992). Schooling and the Production of Physical Capital. Australian Journal of Educational Studies 13:1-19.
Shilling, C. (1991). Labouring at School: Work-Experience in the Technical and Vocational Educational Initiative. Work, employment and society 5:59-80.
Shilling, C. (1991). Educating the Body: Physical Capital and the Production of Social Inequalities. Sociology [Online] 25:653-672 . Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0038038591025004006 .
Shilling, C. (1991). Supply Teachers: Working On the Margins. A Review of the Literature. A Review of the Educational Research 33:3-11.
Shilling, C. (1991). Permanent Supports or Temporary Props? Supply Workers in State Schools and the National Health Service. Gender and Education 3:79-98.
Shilling, C. (1991). Social Space, Educational Differentiation and Gender Inequalities. British Journal of Sociology of Education 12:23-44.
Shilling, C. (1990). Social Use of the School Library: The Colonisation and Regulation of Educational Space. British Journal of Sociology of Education 11:411-430.
Shilling, C. (1990). The Organisation of Supply Workers in State Schools and the National Health Service: A Comparison. Journal of Education Policy 5:127-141.
Shilling, C. (1989). The Mini-Enterprize in Schools Project: A New Stage In Education-Industry Relations? Journal of Education Policy 4:115-124.
Shilling, C. (1989). Work-Experience Codes of Practice: A Critique and Suggestions for Reform. Journal of Education Policy 4:363-372.
Shilling, C. (1988). School to Work Programmes and the Production of Alienation. British Journal of Sociology of Education 9:181-198.
Shilling, C. (1987). Work-Experience as a Contradictory Practice. British Journal of Sociology of Education 8:407-423.
Shilling, C. (1987). Work-Experience and Schools: Factors Influencing the Participation of Industry. Journal of Education Policy 2:131-147.
Shilling, C. (1986). Implementing the Contract: the Technical and Vocational Education Initiative. British Journal of Sociology of Education 7:397-414.
Book section
Shilling, C. (2016). 'Strukturierungstheorie'. in: Gugutzer, R., Klein, G. and Meuser, M. eds. Handbuch Körpersoziologie : Band 1. Springer VS, pp. 345-362.
Mellor, P. and Shilling, C. (2016). Social Theory. in: Stausberg, M. and Engler, S. eds. The Oxford Handbook of the Study of Religion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 235-256.
Shilling, C. (2016). The Body and physical capital. in: Sociology of the Body: A Reader. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Shilling, C. (2015). Embodiment. in: Ritzer, G. ed. Encyclopedia of Sociology. Wiley Blackwell.
Shilling, C. (2013). 'Three Funerals, Two Weddings, Four Births and a Baptism': On the Importance of Embodying Sociology. in: Smith, A. J. and Waddington, I. eds. Doing Real World Research in Sports Studies. London: Taylor & Francis Ltd, pp. 69-73. Available at: http://www.taylorandfrancis.com/books/details/9780415505253/.
Shilling, C. (2012). Educating the Body: Physical Capital and the Production of Social Inequalities. in: Kirk, D. ed. Physical Education. Routledge. Available at: http://www.taylorandfrancis.com/books/details/9780415578059/.
Shilling, C. (2011). Afterword: Body work and the sociological tradition (Chapter 12). in: Twigg, J. et al. eds. Body Work in Health and Social Care: Critical Themes, New Agendas. Chicester: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 162-166. Available at: http://eu.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1444349872.html.
Bunsell, T. and Shilling, C. (2011). Outside and Inside the Gym: Exploring the Identity of the Female Body Builder (Chapter 5). in: Locks, A. and Richardson, N. eds. Critical Readings in Bodybuilding. London: Taylor & Francis Ltd. Available at: http://www.taylorandfrancis.com/books/details/9780415878524/.
Shilling, C. and Bunsell, T. (2011). The female body builder as a gender outlaw. in: Hobbs, D. ed. Ethnography in Context (Four-Volume Set). London: SAGE Publications Ltd .
Shilling, C. (2010). The Undersocialised Conception of the Embodied Agent in Modern Sociology. in: O'Donnell, M. ed. Structure and Agency (Four-Volume Set). London: SAGE Publications Ltd . Available at: http://www.sagepub.com/books/Book233340?siteId=sage-us&prodTypes=any&q=9781848600317&pageTitle=productsSearch#tabview=toc.
Shilling, C. and Mellor, P. (2010). Durkheim, morality and modernity: collective effervescence, homo duplex and the sources of moral action. in: Cotterrell, R. ed. Émile Durkheim: Justice, Morality and Politics. Ashgate Publishing Group. Available at: http://www.ashgate.com/default.aspx?page=637&calcTitle=1&title_id=6783&edition_id=6970.
Mellor, P. and Shilling, C. (2010). The Religious Habitus: Embodiment, Religion, and Sociological Theory(Chapter 9). in: Turner, B. S. ed. John Wiley and Sons Ltd. Chicester: Wiley-Blackwell , pp. 201-220. Available at: http://eu.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1405188529.html.
Shilling, C. (2008). Foreword:Body pedagogics, society and schooling. in: Evans, J. S. O. et al. eds. Education, Disordered Eating and Obesity Discourse: Fat fabrications. London: Routledge, p. ix-xv. Available at: http://www.taylorandfrancis.com/books/details/9780415418959/.
Shilling, C. (2008). 'Kultura, "Rola Chorego" I Konsumpicja Zdrowia'. in: Sztompka, P. and Boguni-Borowska, M. eds. Socjologia Codzienności. Warsaw: ZNAK.
Shilling, C. (2008). The body in sociology . in: Malacrida, C. and Low, J. eds. Sociology of the Body: A Reader. Toronto: Oxford University Press, Canada, pp. 7-13.
Shilling, C. (2008). The challenge of embodying archaeology. in: Boric, D. and Robb, J. eds. Past Bodies: Body-centered Research in Archaeology. Oxford: Oxbow Books, pp. 145-151. Available at: http://www.oxbowbooks.com/oxbow/past-bodies-39779.html.
Shilling, C. (2007). Sociology and the body: Classical traditions and new agendas. in: Shilling, C. ed. Embodying Sociology: Retrospect, Progress and Prospects. Oxford: Blackwells, pp. 1-18.
Shilling, C. (2007). Body Modification. in: Microsoft Encarta 2007 (Standard Edition). Microsoft.
Shilling, C. (2006). Body. in: Scholte, J. A. and Robertson, R. eds. Encyclopedia of Globalization. New York: Routledge.
Shilling, C. (2005). Embodiment, emotions and the foundations of social order: Durkheim's enduring contribution . in: Alexander, J. C. and Smith, P. eds. The Cambridge Companion to Durkheim. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 211-238. Available at: http://www.cambridge.org/gb/academic/subjects/sociology/social-theory/cambridge-companion-durkheim?format=HB.
Shilling, C. (2003). The Undersocialized Conception of the Embodied Agent in Modern Sociology . in: Blaikie, A. et al. eds. The Body: Critical Concepts in Sociology . London: Routledge.
Shilling, C. (2003). Foreword:Educating Bodies: Schooling and the Constitution of Society. in: Evans, J. S. O., Davies, B. and Wright, J. eds. Body Knowledge and Control: Studies in the Sociology of Education and Physical Culture . London: Routledge, p. xv-xxii.
Shilling, C. (2002). Durkheim, Morality and Modernity: Collective Effervescence, Homo Duplex and the Sources of Moral Action . in: Beilharz, P. ed. Zygmunt Bauman Volumes 1-4. London: Sage Publications Ltd.
Shilling, C. (2002). The two traditions in the sociology of emotions. in: Barbalet, J. ed. Emotions and Sociology. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, pp. 10-32.
Shilling, C. (2001). The embodied foundations of social theory. in: Ritzer, G. and Smart, B. eds. Handbook of Social Theory. Beverly Hills, CA.: Sage Publications Ltd, pp. 439-457. Available at: http://www.sagepub.com/books/Book206881?siteId=sage-us&prodTypes=any&q=9780761958406&pageTitle=productsSearch#tabview=title.
Shilling, C. and Mellor, P. (2001). Embodiment, structuration theory and modernity: Mind/Body Dualism and the Repression of Sensuality. in: Bryant, C. G. A. and Jary, D. eds. The Contemporary Giddens: Social Theory in a Globalizing Age. . London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 130-146.
Shilling, C. and Mellor, P. (2000). Durkheim, Morality and Modernity: Collective Effervescence, Homo Duplex and the Sources of Moral Action . in: Pickering, W. S. F. ed. Emile Durkheim: Critical Assessments of Leading Sociologists: III . London: Routledge, pp. 187-207.
Book
Shilling, C. (2016). The Body: A very short introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Shilling, C. and Mellor, P. (2014). Sociology of the Sacred: Religion, Embodiment and Social Change. London: SAGE Publications Ltd.
Shilling, C. (2013). The Body and Social Theory (3rd Revised edition). [Online]. London: SAGE Publications Ltd . Available at: http://www.sagepub.com/books/Book235613?siteId=sage-us&prodTypes=Books&q=9780857025333&pageTitle=productsSearch.
Shilling, C. (2008). Changing Bodies: Habit, Crisis and Creativity. [Online]. London, Thousand Oaks, New Delhi.: Sage Publications. Available at: http://bookshop.blackwell.co.uk/jsp/id/Changing_Bodies/9781412908320.
Shilling, C. (2005). The Body in Culture, Technology and Society. London, Thousand Oaks, New Delhi.: Sage Press.
Shilling, C. (2003). The Body and Social Theory (2nd revised edition). London: Sage Publications.
Shilling, C. and Mellor, P. (2001). The Sociological Ambition: Elementary Forms of Social and Moral Life. London, Thousand Oaks, New Delhi: Sage Publication Inc.
Edited book
Shilling, C. ed. (2007). Embodying Sociology: Retrospect, Progress and Prospects. Oxford: Blackwells .
Total publications in KAR: 81 [See all in KAR]
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Research Interests

Since the late 1980s my work has revolved around a concern to embody sociology and social/cultural theory, and to understand the social and cultural implications of what it is to be an embodied being. There have been three main strands to this project.

Firstly, it has involved a critique of Cartesian influenced, “disembodied” conceptions of sociology which marginalise the corporeal conditions of social action and the bodily consequences of social structures, and an excavation of those traditions that can help us re-embody our conceptions of humanity and society.

Secondly, I have contributed towards the establishment of an interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary field of “body studies” which informs debates on corporality that have become increasingly prominent across the social sciences and humanities.

Thirdly, my aim has been to develop original theoretical approaches which enable us to understand more adequately the significance of embodiment to the world in which we live through the interrogation of a wide range of social, cultural, technological and religious issues.

Current

  1. I have recently completed a book for the Oxford University Press Very Short Introduction Series entitled The Body.
  2. Sociology for the New era. I am working on a book on the significance of sociology for understanding our contemporary era characterised as it is by dynamic change and chronic uncertainty. The book is coauthored with Philip A. Mellor, University of Leeds, and deals with such issues as arbitrage, counter-terrorism, new digital meaning, and artificial intelligence. 
  3. Body Pedagogics - I am currently involved with colleagues from Sweden and the USA in a joint project that draws in part on my writings and interest in body pedagogics. The project "Teaching and Learning Practical Embodied Knowledge" (2014-2017) is funded by the Swedish research council (VR). Sweden has a long tradition of research into practical knowledge and 'tacit knowledge'. A rapidly growing field within international educational research is 'body pedagogics' that gathers leading researchers in sociology, psychology and pedagogy interested in the embodiment of knowledge. The purpose of this project is to investigate the learning of embodied knowledge in the practical school subjects of sloyd [craft] and physical education and health, with a specific focus on the learning content: what is learned when learning practical bodily knowledge and what kind of 'factors' influence the learning.

    The core project team is: Ass. Professor of Ethics David O. Kronlid, Uppsala University (Project leader) Professor of Curriculum Studies Leif Östman, Uppsala University Dr. Joacim Andersson, Uppsala University PhD stud Hanna Hofverberg, Uppsala University PhD stud, vacant, Uppsala University Professor of Sociology, SSPSSR, Chris Shilling, University of Kent Professor of Philosophy of education, Jim Garisson, Virginia Tech.

 

Supervision

I have supervised to completion PhD students in a variety of areas including Body Modification; Embodied Experience and Drugs; Sport, Motor Racing and the Civilizing Process; Gender and Organisation; News Media and the Northern Ireland Peace Process, The Body Pedagogics of Women’s Body Building; and “Deviant” Bodies and Private Spaces; Tattooing and Collective Identities.

Present students are working on theories and case-studies within the field of body studies.

I welcome PhD applications in the following areas:

  • The Body (all areas - including sacrifice, pain, eroticism) Religion and Social Theory Classical Sociology
  • Sport
  • Civilizing and Decivilizing Processes (the work of Norbert Elias).

If you have a proposal and wish to study at the University of Kent, please email me to discuss further.


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Teaching

I am the Director of Post Graduate Studies (Research), and I convene and teach the core Sociology MA course SO867 Foundations of Sociology.

I also convene and teach the year long undergraduate module SO676 Cultures of Embodiment, and the Semester long module SO736 Sociology of Religion I also supervise students studying SO679 3rd Year Dissertation Module, and contribute to other courses.

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Activity

Editorial

  • I am editor of the journal Sociology of Education Abstracts.
  • I am on the editorial boards/international advisory boards of Body & Society; Sociology of Sport Journal, and Sport, Ethics and Society.
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Media

The Body
A Think Kent video 2016

 

Professor Shilling (2010)

 


 

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Telephone: +44(0)1227 823072 Fax: +44(0)1227 827005 or email us

SSPSSR, Faculty of Social Sciences, Cornwallis North East, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NF

Last Updated: 29/08/2017