Chapter 12: Sociologyof theBody -Disability, Aging, andDeath: Pages 299-304
“Tell me what you don’t like about yourself?” points to our insecurities not just about our body
but ourselves; it implies our bodies are direct representations of ourselves.
“normal” standards of disabilities, aging and death differ in cultures
disabled people gained more acceptance, dignity and normality recently.
Society andThe Human Body
The Body and Social Status
Study findings: physical stature reflects social status; students correlated social status with height
higher status means taller
o Majority of humans are approx. the same genetically
o Social factors determine average height in populations
o Height leads to social consequences
o Quality of person’s diet – protein consumption better quality = taller
o Eg. Japanese were taller in the end of the 20 century
o Eg. North American-born children of immigrants are taller on average than their parents
o Smaller gap, but upper class are on average taller than middle class who are on average
taller than lower class
o BUT Eg. Sweden - no difference because class inequality is less pronounced
Consequences of stature
o Tall people live longer
o Tall people earn more and reach the top of their profession more quickly
o TomPerks – found additional cm. of height is associated with additional 222$ in annual
income for men and additional 57$ for women. In Canada, height has a big effect on income
whether one is an immigrant or a minority.
o Short people less successful because they face subtle discrimination.
o We tend to believe men should be taller than