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Abstract

Lyon and Barbalet (1994), Kang (2003), Wolkowitz (2002, 2006), and others have proposed the concept of ‘body work’ as a means for further developing the sociology of the body. This article gives an overview of the different (although frequently overlapping) forms of body work that have been identified in the sociological literature. These include a notion of body work as (i) the work performed on one's own body, (ii) paid labor carried out on the bodies of others, (iii) the management of embodied emotional experience and display, and (iv) the production or modification of bodies through work. The article concludes with suggestions for the future of research on body work and the sociology of the body.