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SOC 258 Sociology of the Body • 5 Cr.


Examine how cultures think about the body. Explore how society shapes bodies and how humans "perform" individual and group identities through bodies and bodily manipulation. Themes may include tattooing and body piercing, beauty standards and plastic surgery, transgenderism, race/ethnicity, and disability.


After completing this class, students should be able to:

  • Explain how the body is simultaneously biological and social;
  • Describe the major social theories about the body;
  • Identify the role of culture and group norms in the presentations of our bodies;
  • Illustrate the complex interactions between culture, groups, identity, the Self, and the body;
  • Analyze the major social problems connected to the body;
  • Assess the impacts of power, dominance, and inequality on our bodies;
  • Explain how bodies can be a site of both oppression and empowerment; and
  • Apply the course material to his or her own life, allowing for a deeper understanding of his/her own bodily experience.



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Bellevue College
3000 Landerholm Circle SE Bellevue, WA 98007-6484 U.S.A.
Work: (425) 564-1000