Playing with Fire: Masculinity, Health, and Sports Supplements

in Sociology of Sport Journal
View More View Less
  • 1 Loughborough University
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year online subscription

USD  $67.00

1 year online subscription

USD  $89.00

Student 2 year online subscription

USD  $126.00

2 year online subscription

USD  $169.00

Canadian men flock to gyms to enlarge, reshape, and sculpt their bodies. Fitness centers, health-food stores, muscle magazines, and Internet sites profit by aggressively selling “sports supplements” to a wide range of exercising men. Once associated with only the hardcore factions of male bodybuilders (Klein, 1995), designer protein powders, creatine products, energy bars, ephedrine, amino acids, diuretics, and growth hormones such as androstenedione are generically marketed to men as health and lifestyle-improving aids. This paper explores how a select group of Canadian men connect the consumption of sports supplements to the pursuit of “established” masculinity. I collected ethnographic data from 57 recreational athletes in Canada and interpreted the data through the lens of figurational sociology. Analytic attention is thus given to how contemporary discourses and practices of supplementation are underscored by middle-class understandings of masculine bodies in a time of perceived “gender crisis” in Canada.

Atkinson is with Sport and Exercise Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK.

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 2004 831 77
Full Text Views 200 48 0
PDF Downloads 270 51 0