Children’s Bodies in Schools: Corporeal Performances of by Sue Ellen Henry (auth.)

By Sue Ellen Henry (auth.)

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Keywords: bodily outcomes; children’s agency; stratification Henry, Sue Ellen. Children’s Bodies in Schools: Corporeal Performances of Social Class. New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. 0005. 0005 Social Class Inequities and the Body  This chapter familiarizes readers with the empirical landscape surrounding the study of social class and the body. In this literature, three orientations to the relationship between social class and the body are prominent. The first bidirectional approach focuses on social outcomes associated with bodies that do not fit easily within society norms; the second bidirectional approach emphasizes the influence of class inequality on bodily outcomes; and the third approach seeks to characterize the co-constitutive nature of bodies and their social milieu (Mason 2013).

As one of my graduate school professors once said, “all scholarship is veiled autobiography,” and through writing this book, I have become acutely aware of the truth in this statement. My childhood, like many others, is an interesting alchemy of socioeconomic and social class experiences, one that is hard to characterize in a “pure” category of class assignment. Born and raised in Washington State, my father went to law school on the GI Bill after his time in the military. His experience growing up in decidedly working-class conditions inculcated his serious commitment to social mobility, especially the sort gained through education.

Gazes off into space]. Susan: Well, I’m sure Pravit could be boring too if he practised. Why don’t you teach him how and he can be boring with you. With this comment, they turned their gaze from Susan to each other, both shuffled, leaned further back into the [play structure] and gazed into the distance. . [The message] was very clear to me, as an observer, that they were “being” big boys, too old to play. This message was communicated through their citations of teenage bodies with lots of lounging, stretching and haute or low levels of expression and activity.

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