This is the first text to offer a comprehensive socio-cultural and historical analysis of the current fitness culture.
Fitness today is not simply about health clubs and exercise classes, or measures of body mass index and cardiovascular endurance. Fit for Consumption conceptualizes fitness as a field within which individuals and institutions may negotiate - if not altogether reconcile - the competing and often conflicting social demands made on the individual body that characterize our current era.
Intended for researchers and senior undergraduate and postgraduate students of sport, leisure, cultural studies and the body, this book utilizes the US fitness field as a case study through which to explore the place of the body in contemporary consumer culture. Combining observations in health clubs, interviews with fitness producers and consumers, and a discourse analysis of a wide variety of fitness texts, this book provides an empirically grounded examination of one of the pressing theoretical questions of our time: how individuals learn to fit into consumer culture and the service economy and how our bodies and selves become ‘fit for consumption.'
1. Making Sense of Fitness 2. The Roots of Fitness: Physical Culture and Physical Capital 3. Health Clubs: The Stratification of Fitness Sites 4. Fitness Media: An Education in the Fitness Lifestyle 5. Personal Trainers: In the Service of Fitness 6. Lessons from the Fitness Field