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The Gym and the Beach: Globalization, Situated Bodies, and Australian Fitness
University of Gothenburg.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sport Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1631-6475
2016 (English)In: Journal of contemporary ethnography, ISSN 0891-2416, E-ISSN 1552-5414, Vol. 45, no 2, 143-167 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Fitness culture is becoming gradually more globalized, both in terms of body ideals, and in terms of body techniques and philosophies of the body. This article discusses the consequences of the globalization of fitness. In particular, the article analyzes the relationship between processes of globalization and how local cultural ideals, gender, and environmental factors may contribute to the shaping of specific local gym and fitness cultures. The empirical material is based on an ethnographic case study in Newcastle, Australia, and includes observations from fitness centers and the local surroundings. In addition, interviews with personal trainers, group fitness instructors, and other professionals operating within the fitness field have been conducted.

The results show that the construction of a local and national gym and fitness culture to a great extent is influenced by the standardization and globalization of fitness. The fitness industry can be analyzed and understood in terms of a “McDonaldization process.” This understanding, however, does not capture the whole image of Australian fitness. In the narratives and observations, there are also tendencies to individualize and personalize fitness in local ways, for instance, in relation to assets such as the natural environment and somewhat mythic and romanticized perceptions of an authentic Australian lifestyle.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 45, no 2, 143-167 p.
National Category
Sociology Sport and Fitness Sciences
Research subject
Social Sciences, Sport Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-37991DOI: 10.1177/0891241614554086ISI: 000372596900002Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84960413869OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-37991DiVA: diva2:760466
Available from: 2014-11-04 Created: 2014-11-04 Last updated: 2016-09-02Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf