Sign up for our Email Newsletter Berghahn Books Logo

berghahn New York · Oxford

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Instagram
The Body in Asia

View Table of Contents

Volume 3

Asia-Pacific Studies: Past and Present

See Related
Anthropology Journals

Email Newsletters

Sign up for our email newsletters to get customized updates on new Berghahn publications.

Click here to select your preferences

The Body in Asia

Edited by Bryan S. Turner and Zheng Yangwen

240 pages, 17 ills, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-550-7 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (November 2009)

eISBN 978-1-84545-966-6 eBook

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook from these vendors Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


The volume provides a welcome summary of the fast growing literature and introduces a wealth of Asian empirical, ethnographic, and historic data throughout the chapters…the book challenges readers to rethink their own body and the bodies around them in everyday life and provides an excellent introduction into the sociology of the body and the anthropology of embodiment.”  ·  Pacific Asia Inquiry


The past few decades have seen growing interest in the study of the body. However, the increasing number of exciting and influential publications has primarily, if not exclusively, focused on the body in Western cultures. The various works produced by Asian scholars remain largely unknown to Western academic debates even though Asia is home to a host of rich body cultures and religions. The peoples of Asia have experienced colonization, decolonization, and now globalization, all of which make the ‘body in Asia’ a rewarding field of research. This unique volume brings together a number of scholars who work on East, Southeast and South Asia and presents original and cutting edge research on the body in various Asian cultures.

Bryan S. Turner is the Alona Evans Distinguished Visiting Professor of Sociology, Wellesley College, USA (2009–2011) and Professor of Social and Political Thought and Director of the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Muslim Societies at the University of Western Sydney, Australia. He has published Weber and Islam (1974), Marx and the End of Orientalism (1978), and edited Religious Diversity and Civil Society (2007). With Mike Featherstone he founded the journal Body & Society and his book The Body and Society went into its third edition in 2008. He is currently editing the New Blackwell Companion to the Sociology of Religion.

Zheng Yangwen received her PhD from the University of Cambridge (King’s College). She taught and researched at the University of Pennsylvania (2002–04) and the National University of Singapore (2004–06) before joining the University of Manchester in 2007. She is the author of The Social Life of Opium in China (2005). She co-edited Negotiating Asymmetry: China’s Place in Asia with Anthony Reid (2009) and Personal Names in Asia: History, Culture and Identity with Charles J-H Macdonald (2009).

Subject: Anthropology (General) Sociology Political and Economic Anthropology Anthropology of Religion
Area: Asia Asia-Pacific


List of Figures

Introduction: Piety, Politics and Philosophy: Asia and the Global Body
Bryan S. Turner and Zheng Yangwen

Chapter 1. The Global Body Cannot Ignore Asia
Susan Brownell


Chapter 2. Saint or Serpent? Engendering the Female Body in Medieval Japanese Buddhist Narratives
Monika Dix

Chapter 3. Creating Religious Bodies: Fasting Rituals in West Java
Jörgen Hellman

Chapter 4. Formations of Public Piety: New Veiling, the Body, and the Citizen-Subject in Contemporary Indonesia
Sonja van Wichelen


Chapter 5. Westernized Body or Japanized Western Body: The Desirable Female Body in Contemporary Japanese Women’s Magazines
Junko Ishiguro

Chapter 6. Fatness and Well-being: Bodies and the Generation Gap in Contemporary China
Anna Lora-Wainwright


Chapter 7. Seki Jūrōji and the Japanese Body: Martial Arts, Kokutai, and Citizen–State Relations in Meiji Japan
Denis Gainty

Chapter 8. The Sacred and the Sanitary: The Colonial ‘Medicalization’ of the Filipino Body
Julius Bautista with Ma. Mercedes Planta

Chapter 9. State and Religion Contestations over the Body: Hook Swinging and the Production of New Human Subjects
R. Santhosh

Chapter 10. Women’s Revolution and Liberation Embodied in Mao Zedong Era Ballet
Zheng Yangwen

Notes on Contributors

Back to Top