The burden of the argument of this book is, I hope, clear: that the new cultural approaches to the body have an important contribution to make to the policy-related fields of health and social care. Bodies, embodiment, bodywork and bodycare are central to these areas; and focussing our analyses more directly on these can bring considerable gains. The body, however, has a protean quality as a subject, and there is no aspect of life or policy that is not relevant, at some level. As a result it is impossible to cover all its dimensions so that, even within the relatively confined areas of health and social care, I have concentrated on only certain, selected areas. Partly these have been chosen to reflect my interests in an inner core of subjects: age, disability, health and care; but partly also to display the central themes of the book in relation to topics such as space, gender, identity, consumption, and their interaction with questions of the body and of public policy. Other analysts might have chosen different subjects; the potential range of these is great. The point, however, remains that the body is a subject of central importance to public policy and one that deserves greater emphasis.
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