Body work is a central activity in the practice of many workers in the field of health and social care. This article provides an introduction to the concept of body work - paid work on the bodies of others - and demonstrates its importance for understanding the activities of health and social care workers. Providing an overview of existing research on body work, it shows the manifold ways in which this can inform the sociology of health and illness - whether through a micro-social focus on the inter-corporeal aspects of work in health and social care, or through elucidating our understanding of the times and spaces of work, or through highlighting the relationship between mundane body work and the increasingly global movements of bodies, workers and those worked-upon. The article shows how understanding work undertaken on the bodies of others as 'body work' provides a mechanism for relating work in the sphere of health and social care to that in other sectors, opening up new avenues for research.
|Number of pages
|Sociology of Health and Illness: A Journal of Medical Sociology
|Published - Feb 2011
- division of labour
- EMOTIONAL LABOR