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Between Performance and Beauty: Towards a sociological understanding of trajectories to drug use in a gym and bodybuilding context.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sport Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1631-6475
2013 (English)In: Scandinavian Sport Studies Forum, ISSN 2000-088X, Vol. 4, 69-90 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Emanating from an ethnographic study of Swedish bodybuilders, this article aims to present a sociological understanding of various circumstances influencing the decision to begin taking performance-enhancing drugs. Theoretically, the research builds upon a constructionist approach, in which actors’ identity claims, the way they describe themselves and their group affiliation, are understood both as individual stories of identity construction and as discursive statements. The result shows that the willingness to perform, to focus on the body’s function, is a paradigmatic narrative being expressed throughout. As such, this performance oriented lifestyle can be related to traditional values saluted within organised sports and also understood as a fairly stable part of a hegemonic masculine construction. However, the results also show how the performance logic is entwined with a strong zest for bodily aesthetics. In the article, this cultural ambiguity is used as an analytical window through which one can see how different understandings of gender, health and doping continuously are socially negotiated in relation to contemporary fitness culture and public health organisations in Swedish society. By analysing doping trajectories in this way the article suggests that drug using practises could be understood as an activity performed along a continuum of cultural and societal (over-)conformity, rather than actions representing societal abnormality.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 4, 69-90 p.
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Research subject
Sport Science; Social Sciences, Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-25882OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-25882DiVA: diva2:623492
Available from: 2013-05-27 Created: 2013-05-27 Last updated: 2016-02-17Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
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  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
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Output format
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  • asciidoc
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