"I wanna be toned I don't want to be muscular" : dominant discourses and women's exercise choices

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Sheriff, Constance
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Kinesiology, c2011
This thesis explores how women who exercise regularly frame their involvement in exercise with regard to discourses of femininity, fitness, consumerism, and healthism, and how these contemporary discourses impact women’s exercise choices. Sixteen semistructured interviews were conducted with women who exercise regularly. The objective was to elicit detailed information about the types of exercise these women were involved in, how they came to exercise in particular ways, and with what rationales. A Foucaultian discourse analysis of the interview transcripts was undertaken to uncover commonalities and differences in how the sometimes competing discourses of femininity, fitness, consumerism, and healthism affect the types of exercise engaged in. By examining the interplay between discourse, power/knowledge, surveillance, discipline, subjectivity, and the resultant construction of normative feminine and health ideals, this thesis attempts to determine how women are constructed, and construct themselves, as regular exercisers and how this construction impacts the ways in which the women chose to exercise.
vii, 149 leaves ; 29 cm
Physical fitness for women , Women -- Health and hygiene , Excercise for women , Body image , Women -- Psychology , Dissertations, Academic