The Embodiment Dynamic over the Life Course: A Case for Examining Cancer Aetiology

  • Michelle Kelly-Irving
  • Cyrille Delpierre


In this chapter, we theoretically frame embodiment as a key concept to understanding how health is constructed over the life course. The background literature is described, and we put forward the embodiment dynamic as a way of understanding complex interactions between individuals and their environments over the life course. We then illustrate how this dynamic may be used to understand social-to-biological processes and socially patterned health outcomes. Taking the example of cancer aetiology, we examine some of the processes involved in the development of cancers over the life course.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michelle Kelly-Irving
    • 1
  • Cyrille Delpierre
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire d’épidémiologie et analyses en santé publique, Faculté de Médecine French National Institute for Health and Medical Research (INSERM) and Université Paul Sabatier Toulouse IIIToulouseFrance

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