Chris Shilling claims in his book, The Body and Social Theory (1993), that the general theme in Mary Douglas’s work is the concept that “the social body constrains how the physical body is perceived and experienced” (Shilling 2003, p. 65). In other words, for Douglas, it is society that decides both our appearance (dress) and our deportment. Douglas’s consideration of the relationship between the self and society does convey a kind of truth about both our life and our society. However, when individuality, equality and freedom become the dominant ideologies in our contemporary society, it seems that such a concept cannot hold true any more, as it did in the previous centuries.
中间是body部分，具体阐述观点，并给出分析，道格拉斯关于身体的概念，“一切都象征着身体”，而“身体象征着一切”。在这个概念中，道格拉斯的目标是展示身体与周围社会之间的重要关系：身体和社会反映彼此的特点。在同一篇文章中，道格拉斯认为身体既是社会的代表 - “复杂的结构”，它可以“为其他复杂结构提供符号的来源”，也可以认为是“社会的象征”，因为相信社会结构的权力和危险。
Douglas’s concept of the body, “everything symbolises the body” while “the body symbolises everything else” (Douglas 2002: p. 123), discussed in Purity and Danger (1966), became a fundamental subject in anthropology (Synnott 2002: p. 229). In this concept, Douglas aims to show an important relationship between the body and society around it: the body and society reflect each other’s characteristics. In the same writing, Douglas considers the body as both the representation of society – “a complex structure” which can “afford a source of symbols for other complex structures”, and as “a symbol of society” due to the fact that “the powers and dangers credited to social structure [were] reproduced in small on the human body” (Douglas 2002: p. 142). Four years later in another work, Natural Symbols (1970), Douglas divides the body into two parts: “The two bodies are the self and society” (Douglas 1996: p. 87). In other words, according to Douglas, we possess two sorts of bodies: one is “the self”, our physical or naturalistic body, a biological entity; the other refers to our social body, or the body as a symbol or metaphor of society, as it is “constructed within ideological and social processes” (Blackman 2008, p. 28). Douglas develops her view in detail as follows: “The social body constrains the way the physical body is perceived. The physical experience of the body, always modified by the social categories through which it is known, sustains a particular view of society” (Douglas 1996: p. 69).
结尾部分给出总结，总而言之，在介绍先令关于道格拉斯主题的陈述时，我们首先探讨了道格拉斯关于身体和社会的观念以及她对他们关系的看法。在道格拉斯的眼中，我们的身体可以分为两种 - 我们的社会身体和我们的身体：它是我们的社会身体决定我们身体的外观和举止;而我们的身体是社会的隐喻或象征，是社会的代表。
To conclude, in introducing Shilling’s statement of Douglas’s theme, we first explored Douglas’s idea about the body and society and her view on their relationship. In Douglas’s eyes, our body can be divided into two sorts – our social body and our physical body: it is our social body that decides the appearance and the deportment of our physical body; while our physical body is a metaphor or symbol of society, a representation of society. Douglas’s concept resonates with that of other scholars, such as Shilling and Foucault. Then, through a discussion of Woolf’s novel, Orlando: A Biography, we considered that Douglas’s or her group’s idea seems to convey some truth about social relationship in the past centuries. However, in the last part of this essay, we showed that such a concept couldn’t be used to discuss the body in our contemporary era any more.