Critical Readings in Bodybuilding

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In recent years the 'body' has become one of the most popular areas of study in the arts, humanities and social sciences. Bodybuilding, in particular, continues to be of interest to scholars of gender, media, film, cultural studies and sociology. However, there is surprisingly little scholarship available on contemporary bodybuilding. Critical Readings in Bodybuilding is the first collection to address the contemporary practice of bodybuilding, especially the way in which the activity has become increasingly more extreme and to consider much neglected debates of gender, eroticism, and sexuality related to the activity. Featuring the leading scholars of bodybuilding and the body as well as emerging voices, this volume will be a key addition to the fields of Sociology, Sport Studies, and Cultural Studies.

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Editorial Reviews

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Niall Richardson is lecturer in Film Studies at the University of Sussex. He is the author of The Queer Cinema of Derek Jarman: Critical and Cultural Readings (IB Tauris, 2009), Transgressive Bodies: Representations in Film and Popular Culture (Ashgate, forthcoming) and various peer-reviewed journal articles on the body, gender politics and sexuality. He is also a former competitive bodybuilder and registered judge for bodybuilding competitions.

Adam Locks is Programme Co-ordinator for Media Studies at the University of Chichester. His Ph.D. examined professional bodybuilding in America and he regularly gives papers on the sport in the States. He also writes on horror cinema and pop music.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: What is There to Say About Bodybuilding? Adam Locks and Niall Richardson Part 1: Practices Introduction: What is the ‘Practice’ of Bodybuilding? Niall Richardson and Adam Locks 1. ‘Barbie and the Beast: Emphasized Femininity, Labor and Power Relations among Fitness, Figure and Women Bodybuilding Competitors’ Anne Bolin 2. Accounting for Illicit Steroid Use: Bodybuilders’ Justifications Lee F. Monaghan 3. The Shame-Pride-Shame of the Muscled Self in Bodybuilding: A Life History Study Andrew Sparkes 4. Building Otherwise: Bodybuilding as Immersive Practice Leslie Heywood 5. Outside and Inside the Gym: Exploring the Identity of the Female Body Builder Tanya Bunsell and Chris Shilling 6. Bodybuilders, Love and Vanity: Why Professors Should Look in the Mirror More Often Doug Aoki 7. Bodybuilding and Health Work: A Life Course Perspective Brian Bailey and James Gillett Part 2: Representations Introduction: Bodybuilding AS Representation Niall Richardson and Adam Locks 8. The Self Contained Body: the Heroic and Aesthetic/Erotic Modes of Representing the Muscular Body Kenneth Dutton 9. Flayed Animals in an Abattoir: The Bodybuilder as Body-Garde Adam Locks 10. Aphrodisia and Erotogenesis Joanna Frueh 11. Flex Rated Muscle Worship! Female Bodybuilding: Feminist Resistance or Erotic Spectacle? Niall Richardson 12. Freak Out! Greg Valentino, Synthol and Exploding Bodies Pamela Church Gibson 13. Too Big to be Bexy? Hyper-Muscularity Versus Muscle Tone Clarissa Smith Notes. Conclusion. Index.

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