Post-industrial masculinities and gym culture: Graft, craft, and fraternity

Gibbs, Nicholas, Salinas, Mike and Turnock, Luke A (2022) Post-industrial masculinities and gym culture: Graft, craft, and fraternity. The British Journal of Sociology, 73 (1). pp. 220-236. ISSN 0007-1315

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-4446.12921

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Post-industrial masculinities and gym culture: Graft, craft, and fraternity
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Abstract

This article theorizes a link between contemporary mas-culinity in post-industrial spaces and ‘hardcore’ gym culture. Over the last three decades the health and fit-ness industry has grown exponentially, with bodily modification and the proliferation of gymnasia, health supplements and wearable fitness trackers now a domi-nant means by which many construct their identities. Simultaneously, the onset of wholesale neoliberalism, which has caused large-scale de-industrialization and the global outsourcing of labor, has resulted in a macro-economic shift from production to consumption in the West. Set against this backdrop, this article draws upon two ethnographic studies in ‘hardcore’ gyms to examine the significance of bodywork in the lives of men in two working- class, post-industrial locales in England. First, gym work is conceptualized as a form of both graft and craft within our samples, and the role of the male body as a post-industrial project is considered. Following this, the gym is presented as a site of fraternity which, follow-ing the loss of collectivizing industry in both areas, allows men to bond over a shared endeavor and build genuine kinship. Ultimately, we conclude that the gym is a space of production within consumption, furnishing our sample with a means of performing their embodied masculinity and repurposing formative notions of graft, craft, and fraternity in a new adaptive space.

Keywords:Craft, deindustrialisation, fraternity, graft, labour, masculinity, post-industrial, working class
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:47682
Deposited On:24 Jan 2022 15:57

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