Critical Discourse Analysis of Motivational Content in Commercially Available Exercise DVDs: Body Capital on Display or Psychological Capital Being Developed?

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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  • 1 Oregon State University
  • | 2 Western Oregon University
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Guided by critical discourse analysis, commercially available exercise DVDs are described in terms of the instructor and model characteristics, and the motivational content being verbally conveyed by the instructors on the DVDs. Ten commercially available, contemporary, single instructor lead exercise DVDs were obtained from multiple sources. Instructor and model characteristics, emergent relationship patterns, and the motivational content of the primary instructor were analyzed. Most instructors and models were female, Caucasian, slim, and dressed in revealing attire. Motivational statements comprised 26.9% (SD = 11.31) of the transcripts. One in seven motivational statements were negative. With body capital clearly on display and some of the motivational language being suspect in terms of building potential participants’ psychological capital, the value of commercial exercise DVDs is brought into question.

Bradley J. Cardinal, Rogers, Kuo, Locklear, and Comfort are with the Kinesiology Program, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR. Marita K. Cardinal is with the Division of Health and Exercise Science, Western Oregon University, Monmouth, OR.

Address author correspondence to Bradley J. Cardinal at