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Soc. Sci. 2015, 4(3), 546-562; doi:10.3390/socsci4030546

Reconceptualising the Gender of Fitness Doping: Performing and Negotiating Masculinity through Drug-Use Practices

Department of Sport Science, Linnaeus University, Kalmar SE-391 82, Sweden
Academic Editor: Martin J. Bull
Received: 28 May 2015 / Revised: 15 July 2015 / Accepted: 3 August 2015 / Published: 6 August 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [217 KB, uploaded 6 August 2015]

Abstract

This article analyses self-portrayals and gender constructions among Swedish male bodybuilders who are engaged in fitness doping. The empirical material comes from a larger ethnographic investigation into gym culture. The results show that there is a strong propensity to conform with particular gender fantasies that rests heavily on a binary understanding of gendered, doped bodies. However, this storyline does not apprehend the entire self-presentation of the analysed drug users. Negotiations and inclusive subversions of traditional gender norms are also expressed. For example, the narratives show how the use of performance-enhancing substances makes it possible for (heterosexual) men to approach, touch and express feelings of desire towards other men and their bodies. As such, this practice can be viewed as a contestation of hegemonic gender values, in which masculinity and fitness doping are detached from a quite heterosexist understanding, and turned into a symbolic world of homoerotic pleasure. View Full-Text
Keywords: masculinity; sexuality; health; body; fitness doping; gym culture masculinity; sexuality; health; body; fitness doping; gym culture
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Andreasson, J. Reconceptualising the Gender of Fitness Doping: Performing and Negotiating Masculinity through Drug-Use Practices. Soc. Sci. 2015, 4, 546-562.

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