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This book explores common representations and experiences of American fitness. It takes women’s experiences as the center of inquiry toward an understanding of the function of fitness in our lives and in our culture-at-large. Ranging from 1968 to the present, from Jane Fonda to WiiFit, from revolution to institutionalization, from personal to political, and beyond, this book considers a broad range of topics from an interdisciplinary perspective: generations, cultural appropriation, community development, choreography, methodology, healing, and social justice. Drawing on her experience as a cultural theorist, educator and fitness instructor, the author offers critical and creative approaches that reveal the limitations and possibilities of fitness. The book enables readers to think about their own relationship to fitness as well as the more abstract meanings of the term, and suggests the idea that fitness has some potential to transform our worlds—if we’re willing to do the work(out).
Exercise for women is a heavily-laden social and embodied experience. While exercise promotion has become an increasingly visible part of health campaigns, obesity among women is rising, and studies indicate that women are generally less physically active than men. Women’s (lack of) exercise, therefore, has become a public concern, and physiological and psychological research has attempted to develop more effective exercise programs aimed at women. Yet women have a complex relationship with embodiment and physical activity that is difficult for quantitative scientific approaches to explore. This book addresses this neglect by providing a much-needed feminist, qualitative social analysis of women and exercise. The contributors, drawn from across Europe and North America, investigate the ways women experience exercise within the context of the global fitness industry. All the authors take a specifically feminist perspective in their analysis of the fit, feminine body, exploring media images and the global branding of fitness products, the relationship between exercise and fat, the construction of physical activity within health discourse, and the lived experience of the exercising body. The collection explores the diversity of women’s experiences of exercise in relation to age, ethnicity and body size. The book is essential for anyone interested in health promotion, sport and exercise or the social and cultural study of gender and embodiment.
The last two decades have witnessed a proliferation of qualitative research in sport and exercise. The Routledge Handbook of Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise is the first book to offer an in-depth survey of established and emerging qualitative methods, from conceptual first principles to practice and process. Written and edited by a team of world-leading researchers, and some of the best emerging talents, the book introduces a range of research traditions within which qualitative researchers work. It explores the different methods used to collect and analyse data, offering rationales for why each method might be chosen and guidance on how to employ each technique successfully. It also introduces important contemporary debates and goes further than any other book in exploring new methods, concepts, and future directions, such as sensory research, digital research, visual methods, and how qualitative research can generate impact. Cutting-edge, timely and comprehensive, the Routledge Handbook of Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise is an essential reference for any student or scholar using qualitative methods in sport and exercise-related research.
Although socio-cultural issues in relation to women within the fields of sport and exercise have been extensively researched, this research has tended to concentrate on the Western world. Women, Sport and Exercise in the Asia-Pacific Region moves the conversation away entirely from Western contexts to discuss these issues with a sole focus on the geographic Asia-Pacific region. Presenting a diverse range of empirical case studies, from bodybuilding in Kazakhstan and Thailand, karate in Afghanistan, and women’s rugby in Fiji to women’s soccer in North Korea and netball in Papua New Guinea, the book demonstrates how sports may be used as a lens to examine the historical, socio-cultural and political specificities of non-Western and post-colonial societies. It also explores the complex ways in which non-Western women resist as well as accommodate sport and exercise-related sociocultural oppression, helping us to better understand the nexus of sport, exercise, gender, sexuality and power in the Asia-Pacific area. This is a fascinating and important resource for students of sports studies, sports management, sport development, social sciences and gender studies, as well as an excellent read for academics and researchers with an interest in sport, exercise, gender and post-colonial studies.
Physical cultural studies (PCS) is a dynamic and rapidly developing field of study. This handbook offers the first definitive account of the state of the art in PCS, showcasing the latest research and methodological approaches. It examines the boundaries, preoccupations, theories and politics of PCS, drawing on transdisciplinary expertise from areas as diverse as sport studies, sociology, history, cultural studies, performance studies and anthropology. Featuring chapters written by world-leading scholars, this handbook examines the most important themes and issues within PCS, exploring the active body through the lens of class, age, gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, (dis)ability, medicine, religion, space and culture. Each chapter provides an overview of the state of knowledge in a particular subject area, while also considering possibilities for developing future research. Representing a landmark contribution to physical cultural studies and allied fields, the Routledge Handbook of Physical Cultural Studies is an essential text for any undergraduate or postgraduate course on physical culture, sports studies, leisure studies, the sociology of sport, the body, or sport and social theory.
Figurational sociology offers an important set of conceptual and methodological tools for helping us to understand sport, leisure and health and their relationship to wider society. This book brings together an international team of scholars working within the figurational tradition to explain the significance of figurational sociology in the development of the sociology of sport and to provide empirical case studies of figurational sociology in action. Covering core concepts such as the civilizing process, and key methods such as interviewing and ethnography, the book presents contemporary research in areas as diverse as sport-related health, mixed martial arts, sports policy, gender relations and cycling. Figurational Research in Sport, Leisure and Health is an important resource for students of sport and social sciences, sociology, figurational sociology and sociology of sport and exercise.
Running is a fundamental human activity and holds an important place in popular culture. In recent decades it has exploded in popularity as a leisure pursuit, with marathons and endurance challenges exerting a strong fascination. Endurance Running is the first collection of original qualitative research to examine distance running through a socio-cultural lens, with a general objective of understanding the concept and meaning of endurance historically and in contemporary times. Adopting diverse theoretical and methodological approaches to explore topics such as historical conceptualizations of endurance, lived experiences of endurance running, and the meaning of endurance in individual lives, the book reveals how the biological, historical, psychological, and sociological converge to form contextually specific ideas about endurance running and runners. Endurance Running is an essential book for anybody researching across the entire spectrum of endurance sports and fascinating reading for anybody working in the sociology of sport or the body, cultural studies or behavioural science.

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