Distinctions in the Flesh
Social Class and the Embodiment of Inequality
How is class inequality intertwined with the body? In Distinctions in the Flesh: Social Class and the Embodiment of Inequality (Routledge, 2017), Dieter Vandebroeck, an assistant professor in sociology at the Free University of Brussels, explores this question by a deep engagement with contemporary theory and detailed empirical evidence. The book takes on sociology’s turn to the body in the context of Pierre Bourdieu’s work, in particular the sense of bodies in (unequal) social relations with each other and the distinctions flowing from those relations. Using a huge range of examples, including food and eating practices, sport, and body image, the book moves to position the body as a most crucial site for understanding contemporary inequality. Although the book speaks primarily to sociological debates, the engagement with theory and the empirical analysis is an essential read for anyone interested in how bodies are social, as well as individual.