Bodies at Home and at School: Toward a Theory of Embodied Social Class Status



Sociology has long recognized the centrality of the body in the reciprocal construction of individuals and society, and recent research has explored the influence of a variety of social institutions on the body. Significant research has established the influence of social class, child-rearing practices, and variable language forms in families and children. Less well understood is the influence of children's social class status on their gestures, comportment, and other bodily techniques. In this essay Sue Ellen Henry brings these two areas of study together to explore how working-class children's bodies are shaped by the child-rearing practices associated with their social class status, and the potential effects these bodily techniques have on their experience in schools.