EXPLORING BODYBUILDING SUBCULTURE: THE ACCPETANCE OF A SPORT IN MAINSTREAM CULTURE
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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This ethnographic study aims to give the reader an insight into the subculture associated with the sport of bodybuilding. The research explores themes of subcultural fragmentation and style, masculinity, gender and identity. The research entails a review of the literature, where the concept of subculture is explored and clearly defined to enable its proper application to the sport of bodybuilding. A review of the current literature on the sport and subculture is presented and the drawing on Klein’s (1993) claim that the sport is marginalised in, but there is hope for it to become accepted into mainstream culture, a research thesis is proposed, aiming to confirm or reject whether this has occurred in the twenty years since Klein’s study. Interviews are conducted with amateur bodybuilders, which provide data for the discussion of the research question. The oppositional and deviant nature of this subculture contrasted with an increasingly high interest in health and fitness in broader society, makes for an interesting study into where bodybuilding’s position is in society.
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