Body Panic: Gender, Health, and the Selling of Fitness

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NYU Press, Feb 1, 2009 - Social Science - 238 pages

Are you ripped? Do you need to work on your abs? Do you know your ideal body weight? Your body fat index? Increasingly, Americans are being sold on a fitness ideal — not just thin but toned, not just muscular but cut — that is harder and harder to reach. In Body Panic, Shari L. Dworkin and Faye Linda Wachs ask why. How did these particular body types come to be “fit”? And how is it that having an unfit, or “bad,” body gets conflated with being an unfit, or “bad,” citizen?
Dworkin and Wachs head to the newsstand for this study, examining ten years worth of men’s and women’s health and fitness magazines to determine the ways in which bodies are “made” in today’s culture. They dissect the images, the workouts, and the ideology being sold, as well as the contemporary links among health, morality, citizenship, and identity that can be read on these pages. While women and body image are often studied together, Body Panic considers both women’s and men’s bodies side-by-side and over time in order to offer a more in-depth understanding of this pervasive cultural trend.

 

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Contents

1 The Nature of Body Panic Culture
1
2 What Kinds of Subjects and Objects? Gender Consumer Culture and Convergence
29
Male Body Panic and the Third Wave Crisis of Masculinity
65
Postindustrial Fit Motherhood and the Merger of the Second Household LaborChild Care and Third Fitness Shift
106
Third Wave Feminism and the Consumption Conundrum
129
6 Emancipatory Potential Social Justice and the Consumption Imperative
159
Appendix
183
Notes
187
Bibliography
201
Index
219
About the Authors
227
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Shari L. Dworkin is Professor in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of California, San Francisco School of Nursing. She is the author or editor of several books, most recently Body Panic: Gender, Health, and the Selling of Fitness and Men at Risk, both with NYU Press.

Faye Linda Wachs is an Associate Professor of Sociology in the Department of Psychology and Sociology at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona).

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