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How Are University Gyms Used by Staff and Students? A Mixed-Method Study Exploring Gym Use, Motivation, and Communication in Three UK Gyms / F Rapport; H Hutchings; M Doel; B Wells; C Clement; S Mellalieu; S Shubin; D Brown; Rebecca S; S Wright; A Sparkes

Societies, Volume: 8, Issue: 15, Pages: 1 - 16

Swansea University Author: Shubin, Sergei

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DOI (Published version): 10.3390/soc8010015

Abstract

This interdisciplinary paper addresses the issues related to the different patterns and practices of Gym Use, Motivation, and Communication, by focusing on the results of the study conducted in three UK universities. Drawing on the Foucault’s ideas about “individuating” disciplinary power and “massi...

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Published in: Societies
ISSN: 2075-4698
Published: 2018
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa38879
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Abstract: This interdisciplinary paper addresses the issues related to the different patterns and practices of Gym Use, Motivation, and Communication, by focusing on the results of the study conducted in three UK universities. Drawing on the Foucault’s ideas about “individuating” disciplinary power and “massifying” bio-power, it explores the specific roles of university gyms in shaping specific bodies, generating (gendered) division of gym space and framing the gym’s socio-spatial interactions. The findings of the extensive participant observation research and e-surveys suggest that there is a clear tension between some of the desired uses and the spaces provided in the university gyms. While affected by the “Healthy university” agenda, the gyms we studied are mostly framed as spaces of exercise rather than therapeutic spaces, with some areas often highly gendered and procedures shaped to enact particular performances of masculinity and femininity. University gyms developed complex power relations between staff and students where limited verbal interactions were complemented by non-verbal communications with the gym users watching and listening to other people, and synchronizing their workouts. The paper concludes with the broader observations about biolitical modulation of the university population as unique to a higher education context.
Keywords: gym use; gym culture; university staff; university students; higher education
College: College of Science
Issue: 15
Start Page: 1
End Page: 16