By Lee F. Monaghan
Many myths encompass male our bodies and linked bodywork, in particular whilst such bodywork is labelled culturally or socially extraordinary or 'problematic'. Bodybuilding, for instance, has been defined by way of gender inadequacy and an 'Adonis complicated' reminiscent of opposite anorexia, whereas males electing to suffer aesthetic plastic surgery are deemed 'too involved' approximately their visual appeal and therefore woman-like. Myths additionally discredit males and boys who don't interact in acceptable bodywork whilst this can be anticipated. for example, amidst public wellbeing and fitness issues surrounding a so-called 'obesity epidemic', males and boys who face up to actual job and/or makes an attempt to advertise a 'healthy weight' are deemed ignorant, apathetic and wanting correction.
Drawing on broad box learn performed in North the USA and Britain over a twenty yr interval, this e-book demanding situations such masculine fable making. aware of a wealthy sociological culture that seeks to appreciate the social international as lived and skilled, the authors supply insights which are prone to problem universal perceptions of varied teams of fellows and boys, their varied actual cultures, shared methods of being and identities.
Presenting empirically grounded understandings of numerous physically practices and discourses together with bodybuilding, plastic surgery, weight loss program and nightclub safety, tough Myths of Masculinity will entice students of sociology, geography and cultural stories, with pursuits in gender, embodiment and masculinities.
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Extra info for Challenging Myths of Masculinity: Understanding Physical Cultures
For Dunn, the ongoing dismantling of a collective trust in institutions as providers of social goods, in Beck’s (1992) turn of phrase, has led to a general reconsideration of how communities are organized at every level: from the roles we play, the statuses we hold, and the identities we share. Quite simply, with the progression from modernity to late modernity, we ostensibly move away from traditionalist ways of doing and organizing social life. When traditional identities and practices dominate in a society, argues Giddens (1991, 2001), individual actions do not have to be analyzed and thought about so much, because they are tightly constrained by cultural precedent and habit.
Female bodybuilders also talked about how lifting weights benefits the pragmatic and experiential body, echoing a concern for ‘physical 31 Challenging Myths of Masculinity empowerment’ as reported in Smith Maguire’s (2008: 67) study of fitness. ’, a female bodybuilder remarked: It’s being strong isn’t it? It’s overcoming a barrier isn’t it? Every time you hit the weights. That’s why it’s so good. It gets your aggression out. Barriers that you come up against in life that you can’t necessarily overcome, but in the gym you can.
In noting this aspect of the subculture, 25 Challenging Myths of Masculinity Klein (1993: 147) quotes an excerpt from a muscle magazine: ‘bodybuilding is one of the few sports – and possibly the only sport – where athletes can honestly say they are finally reaching their peaks in middle age’. One man, aged 37, said the following during an interview where he produced a photograph of his impressive competition standard physique that he achieved sometime in the past: I’ve spent all my life with what I consider to be a good physique and as I’m getting older I find it even harder to fade away to obscurity.