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    An accessible entry point to the history of physical culture

    In his new book, The History of Physical Culture (Common Ground), Conor Heffernan provides an engaged historical overview of physical culture from the Ancient World to the Modern Day. Dr. Greta Bladh, with great interest in physical culture as a scholar as well as a practicer, has read Heffernan’s contribution to Common Ground’s new series of mini-textbooks. While pointing out and lamenting the author’s preference for Eurocentric perspectives, she still finds reading the book well worth the effort.

    The sentient body recognized within gym and fitness cultures, but questions remain

    Drawing on autoethnographic research, Gym Bodies: Exploring Fitness Cultures by James Brighton, Ian Wellard & Amy Clark (Routledge) explores the embodied experiences of ‘gym goers’ and the fitness cultures that are constructed within gyms and fitness spaces. Greta Bladh is well placed for reviewing this book, and her critical reading gives credit to the authors’ efforts as well as raises questions about the benefits of the autoethnographic method. A highly readable book just the same.

    Livestreamad disputation | Moving thresholds: Body narratives within the vicinity of gym and fitness culture av Greta Bladh, Umeå universitet, den 4 december 2020

    Studien tar sin början på ett gym, vilket har inskrivet i dess stadgar att verksamheten ska präglas av ett normkritiskt arbetssätt. Detta gym kan således ses som en plats där genuskodade normer, vilka i avhandlingen diskuteras i termer av trösklar, bearbetas på olika sätt med avsikt att skapa ett inkluderande klimat. Avhandlingen bygger på kvalitativa metoder såsom deltagande observationer, semi-strukturerade intervjuer, samt kollektiva minnesövningar.

    Disappointing study of the resurgent roller derby phenomenon

    In this rather slim volume, Gender, Sport, and the Role of Alter Ego in Roller Derby (Routledge), Colleen Arendt attempts to provide an answer to two question posed by herself, Why Roller Derby? Why now?, and indicates that alter ego may have a place in this. Greta Bladh kept looking for answers, for the “now”, and for the role of alter ego, to no avail.
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