Fitness, the Body and Society : An Introduction book cover
1st Edition

Fitness, the Body and Society
An Introduction

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after January 1, 2021
ISBN 9780415483926
January 1, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
296 Pages

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Book Description

Fitness has become our obsession. From state initiatives to improve public health through exercise, through the commodification of fitness driven by the media and the fitness industry, to an individual’s quest to build the perfect body in the gym, we are all being encouraged to strive for fitness.

In this important new introductory textbook, Jennifer Smith Maguire explores the socio-cultural study of fitness, examining our shifting notions of fitness and health and assessing their cultural, political and economic impact. The book presents a comprehensive overview of existing research, including the most important theoretical and methodological perspectives, and explains how fitness and the body are understood by nations, economic systems, communities and individuals. Multi-disciplinary in scope, the book introduces key topics such as:

  • fitness and identity
  • fitness and gender
  • the individual body and the social body
  • healthism and the political economy of health
  • the role of fitness practitioners, personal trainers and exercise instructors
  • the health club
  • fitness at local and global levels
  • fitness and the world of work.

The book includes a full range of useful features, such as discussion questions, research tasks, critical reflection exercises, and guides to further reading and resources, as well as extensive extracts from key writings on related topics. Fitness, the Body and Society is an essential course text for all students of the sociology of fitness, health, the body, exercise or sport.

Table of Contents

1. Bodies, Fitness & Society  Section A: Bodies, Fitness and Power  2. Fit Body and the Nation 3. Healthism and the Social Order  4. Fitness and the World of Work  Section B: Fitness, Self and Identity  5. Fitness and Technologies of the Self  6. Fitness, Habitus and Capital  7. Fitness, Strength and Gender 8. Fitness and Empowerment  Section C: The Commercial Fitness Field  9. Media Representations of the Fit Body  10. Health Clubs as Fitness Spaces  11. Fitness Practitioners  12. Global Fitness

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Jennifer Smith Maguire (PhD Sociology, Graduate Center City University of New York) is a lecturer in the Department of Media & Communication at the University of Leicester.