Hard Body 2.0 – The Construction of the Fitness Subject: An Analysis of Swedish Fitness Blogs

Greta Bladh
Institutionen för idrottsvetenskap, Malmö högskola


greta-bladhBlogging is an endeavor that is often taken for granted in our everyday lives. In this article, Greta Bladh critically examines the constructiveness of the concepts of health and fitness in the blogosphere. Through conducting a discourse analysis of Swedish fitness blogs, aided by the theoretical framework of Michel Foucault in terms of technologies of the self, and the concept of habitus as developed by Pierre Bourdieu, as well as a critical perspective concerning the morals of health discourse, Bladh investigates how human beings engage and negotiate discourse and social structure using writing practices mediated through cyberspace. The results indicates that the fitness field is a field of possibilities and that the blogs display various technologies of the self, sometimes in a contradictory way. This shows that it is by agency that discourse and social structure come into play, and thus it is through agency that different practices of appropriating fitness and health are displayed, signifying that the fitness subject is heterogeneously constructed.

Even though the fitness subject is located within a field of possibilities Bladh also emphasize the gendered aspect of fitness and health by problematizing the strained relationships between femininity and muscle development and exercise and womanhood. This demonstrates that the construction of the fitness subject is constrained within gendered social structures.

Download a full-text version of the article here!

GRETA BLADH holds a master’s degree in gender studies from Lund University. Her main research focus has been to critically assess sport, fitness and health through a gendered perspective.

Read more on idrottsforum.org

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