Rural Gym Spaces and Masculine Physical Cultures in an ‘Age of Change’: Rurality, Masculinity, Inequalities and Harm in ‘the Gym’

Turnock, Luke (2021) Rural Gym Spaces and Masculine Physical Cultures in an ‘Age of Change’: Rurality, Masculinity, Inequalities and Harm in ‘the Gym’. Journal of Rural Studies . ISSN 0743-0167

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrurstud.2021.05.013

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Rural Gym Spaces and Masculine Physical Cultures in an ‘Age of Change’: Rurality, Masculinity, Inequalities and Harm in ‘the Gym’
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Abstract

The gym is an increasing site for social research, with much work identifying the
importance of understanding gender construction and performance in forming policy to
address inequalities in gym access, and harms within gym-going cultures. This article
draws on findings from a multi-year ethnography in rural South-West England to
address a gap in the existing gym cultures literature by exploring the intersections of
rurality with gender and gym cultures, examining how the masculine rural intersects
with the construction of gym spaces, and the interplay between rural masculinities and
gym cultures, as fitness becomes an increasingly popular activity.
Beyond examining the intersections between rurality with gym space and cultures, this
paper further examines how rurality and rural masculinities are linked with harm in
these cultures, particularly in relation to the reproduction of aspects of hegemonic and
toxic masculinity, and the harms these have not only on women and others seeking to
access these spaces, but on the men who hold these ideas themselves. This
exploration further looks at how ideas of masculine identity formation, and self-stigma
associated with masculine ideals within rural cultures contributes to the harms and
behaviours witnessed within gym-going populations. This article aims to contribute
valuable understanding to both structural issues relating to gender and the gym
relevant to policy discussions regarding access and inclusivity, as well as some of the
ways in which harms among gym-going populations may be addressed in a rural
context.

Keywords:Rurality, Masculinities, Gym cultures, Inequalities, Gender, Harm
Subjects:L Social studies > L300 Sociology
L Social studies > L700 Human and Social Geography
L Social studies > L320 Gender studies
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
ID Code:45057
Deposited On:10 Jun 2021 11:57

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