Male bodybuilders and the social meaning of muscle
University of Exeter
This paper reflects and theorises upon the engagement in a 'self-refelxive body project' by five male bodybuilders as they experience becoming, and being a bodybuilder. Using a life history approach, the notion of 'process' is opened up by contextualising the participants' bodybuilding biographies in a social, cultural and historical framework. Subjective meanings of constructing and 'being' a hyper-muscular male body are considered in relation to indications of empowerment and enselfment as experienced by these men as their bodies develop. In interpreting this data, a range of theories of the body are eclectically drawn upon to inform the process of becoming and being a bodybuilder in terms of its impact on self and social identity.
Auto/Biography, 1999, Vol VII, Numbers 1 & 2, pp. 83-90