Challenging Myths of Masculinity: Understanding Physical by Lee F. Monaghan

By Lee F. Monaghan

Many myths encompass male our bodies and linked bodywork, specially whilst such bodywork is labelled culturally or socially unusual or 'problematic'. Bodybuilding, for instance, has been defined by way of gender inadequacy and an 'Adonis advanced' resembling opposite anorexia, whereas males electing to endure aesthetic plastic surgery are deemed 'too involved' approximately their visual appeal and hence woman-like. Myths additionally discredit males and boys who don't have interaction in acceptable bodywork whilst this can be anticipated. for example, amidst public health and wellbeing 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 wide 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 global as lived and skilled, the authors offer insights which are prone to problem universal perceptions of assorted teams of guys and boys, their different actual cultures, shared methods of being and identities. offering empirically grounded understandings of numerous physically practices and discourses together with bodybuilding, plastic surgery, healthy eating plan and nightclub protection, 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 (Interactionist Currents)

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The self “in touch with”, “caring for”, “in control of ” the body, no longer need experience the body as but another object out in the world (Mead, 1934, p. 164)’ (Glassner 1990: 221). A final point should be made about bodybuilders’ normalized use of drugs and its relation to ageing bodies. It is reasoned that for all the benefits exercise and nutrition may confer on physical appearance, this aspect of ageing can only be effectively ‘delayed’ with the assistance of steroids. Men’s endogenous testosterone production reportedly diminishes with age, making it increasingly difficult for the older athlete to maintain lean body mass and thus the semblance of youth.

One technique for bringing bodybuilders’ ‘risk-inducing’ bodies to academic and public attention is to characterize them as wholly inadequate. As noted, bodybuilders are stereotyped as ‘dangerous’ bodies that pose a risk to their own health as well as the health of others in the form of drug-induced violence (Pope and Katz 1990; for a different understanding of the supposed steroid-violence connection see Monaghan 2001: 156–80). This pathology discourse is congruent with medical sociologists’ longstanding concern with illness, disease or potential disease (risk) rather than positive health, wellbeing and vibrant physicality.

Here bodybuilders are thoroughly pathologized given their apparent willingness to abandon their own and other people’s health 35 Challenging Myths of Masculinity in their ‘narcissistic’ quest for bodily perfection. However, such accounts are not grounded in rich qualitative data where theorizing about vibrant lookingglass bodies is drawn into the frame of everyday experience. It is hoped that this chapter underscores the need to redress this recurrent problem within the literature, where discourses of inadequacy and deviance prevail (Keane 2005, Monaghan 2009).

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