Where are we at with studies of Body & Society? What are the key accomplishments in the field? This book provides the clearest and most comprehensive account of work in this area to date. Based on a novel theory of action it surveys the terrain by arguing that human identity, social relationships and moral figurations develop as a result of people living in and seeking to reach beyond the limits of their bodily being. From this starting point the author undertakes a series of studies on sport, transgenderism, migration, illness, survival and belief which illuminate the relationship between bodily change and action. The book provides an unrivalled survey of theory and empirical research and explores the hitherto neglected tradition of American 'body studies'. Wide in scope, systematic and incisive the book represents a landmark addition to the field of studies in body and society.