“Tuning into One’s Self:” Foucault’s Technologies of the Self and Mindful Fitness

in Sociology of Sport Journal
View More View Less
Restricted access

This article explores the application of Michel Foucault’s technologies of the self—practices of freedom that are characterized by ethics of self-care, critical awareness, and aesthetic self-stylization. Foucault’s argument states that the technologies of self can act as practices of freedom from disciplinary, discursive body practices. Based on ethnographic fieldwork, this study examines the intersections of Foucault’s theory with commercial fitness practices to identify possibilities for changing the dominant, feminine body discourse. The focus is on fitness practices collectively defined as mindful fitness and specifically one hybrid mindfulfitness form that combines Pilates, yoga, and Tai Chi with western strength training. Through in-depth interviews with the instructors of this hybrid form, this study analyzes the possibilities for mindful fitness to act as a practice of freedom by detailing what can be meant by critically aware, self-stylized fitness professionals for whom ethical care of the self translates to ethical care of the others.

The author is with the Qualitative Research Unit, School of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Exeter, Heavitree Road, Exeter, EX1 2LU, UK.

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 2014 775 101
Full Text Views 213 72 1
PDF Downloads 272 91 2