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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.
It is impossible to fully understand contemporary society and culture without acknowledging the place of sport. Sport is part of our social and cultural fabric, possessing a social and commercial power that makes it a potent force in the world, for good and for bad. Sport has helped to start wars and promote international reconciliation, while every government around the world commits public resources to sport because of its perceived benefits. From the bleachers to the boardroom, sport matters. Now available in a fully revised and updated new edition, this exciting, comprehensive and accessible textbook introduces the study of sport, culture and society. International in scope, the book explores the key social theories that shape our understanding of sport as a social phenomenon and critically examines many of the assumptions that underpin that understanding. Placing sport at the very heart of the analysis, and including vibrant sporting examples throughout, the book introduces the student to every core topic and emerging area in the study of sport and society, including: the history and politics of sport sport and globalization sport and the media sport, violence and crime sport, the body and health sport and the environment alternative sports and lifestyles sporting mega-events sport and development. Each chapter includes a wealth of useful features to assist the student, including chapter summaries, highlighted definitions of key terms, practical projects, revision questions, boxed case-studies and biographies, and guides to further reading, with additional teaching and learning resources available on a companion website. Sport, Culture and Society is the most broad-ranging and thoughtful introduction to the socio-cultural analysis of sport currently available and sets a new agenda for the discipline. It is essential reading for all students with an interest in sport. Visit the companion website at www.routledge.com/cw/jarvie.
Women worldwide are making their presence felt as sport fans in rapidly increasing numbers. This book makes a distinctive and innovative contribution to the study of sport fandom by exploring the growing visibility and interest in women who follow sport. It presents the latest data on women’s sport spectatorship in different regions of the world, posing new theoretical paradigms to study the globalised nature of female sport fandom. This book goes beyond conventional approaches to analysing the practices of women sport fans. By using a critical feminist perspective to investigate cultural conditions and social contexts (including globalisation, digital networked technologies, consumerism, neoliberalism and postfeminism), it brings into view a diversity of women’s voices and experiences as sport fans. It sheds new light on the power dynamics of gender, ethnicity and sexuality influencing women’s participation in sport spectatorship and interrogates the ways female sport fandom is made visible through transnational media networks. Women Sport Fans: Identification, Participation, Representation is fascinating reading for all those interested in sport and gender, the sociology of sport, or women’s studies.
The fitness industry is experiencing a new boom characterized by the proliferation of interactive and customizable technology, from exercise-themed video games to smartphone apps to wearable fitness trackers. This new technology presents the possibility of boundless self-tracking, generating highly personalized data for self-assessment and for sharing among friends. While this may be beneficial – for example, in encouraging physical activity – the new fitness boom also raises important questions about the very nature of our relationship with technology. This is the first book to examine these questions through a critical scholarly lens. Addressing key themes such as consumer experience, gamification, and surveillance, Fitness, Technology and Society argues that fitness technologies – by ‘datafying’ the body and daily experience – are turning fitness into a constant pursuit. The book explores the origins of contemporary fitness technologies, considers their implications for consumers, producers, and for society in general, and reflects on what they suggest about the future of fitness experience. Casting new light on theories of technology and the body, this is fascinating reading for all those interested in physical cultural studies, technology, and the sociology of sport.
The relationship between sport, medicine and health in our society is becoming increasingly complex. This important and timely study explores this relationship through an analysis of changing political economies, altered perceptions of the body and science’s developing contribution to the human condition. Surveying the various ways in which medicine interacts with the world of sport, it examines the changing practices and purposes of sports medicine today. Drawing on the latest research in the sociology of sport, this book investigates the scientific discourse underlying the promotion of physical activity to reveal the political context in which medical knowledge and public policies emerge. It considers the incongruities between these policies and their attempts to regulate the supply of and demand for sports medicine. Through a series of original case studies, this book exposes the social construction of sports medical knowledge and questions the potential for medicine to influence athletes’ well-being both positively and negatively. Sport, Medicine and Health: The medicalization of sport? provides valuable insights for all students and scholars interested in sports medicine, sports policy, public health and the sociology of sport.
For more than a century, sporting spectacles, media coverage, and popular audiences have staged athletics in black and white. Commercial, media, and academic accounts have routinely erased, excluded, ignored, and otherwise made absent the Asian American presence in sport. This book seeks to redress this pattern of neglect, presenting a comprehensive perspective on the history and significance of Asian American athletes, coaches, and teams in North America. The contributors interrogate the sociocultural contexts in which Asian Americans lived and played, detailing the articulations of power and possibility, difference and identity, representation and remembrance that have shaped the means and meanings of Asian Americans playing sport in North America. This volume will be of interest to students and scholars of the Asian American experience, ethnic relations, and the history of sport.
In recent years the ‘body’ has become one of the most popular areas of study in the arts, humanities and social sciences. Bodybuilding, in particular, continues to be of interest to scholars of gender, media, film, cultural studies and sociology. However, there is surprisingly little scholarship available on contemporary bodybuilding. Critical Readings in Bodybuilding is the first collection to address the contemporary practice of bodybuilding, especially the way in which the activity has become increasingly more extreme and to consider much neglected debates of gender, eroticism, and sexuality related to the activity. Featuring the leading scholars of bodybuilding and the body as well as emerging voices, this volume will be a key addition to the fields of Sociology, Sport Studies, and Cultural Studies.

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