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“Oh Take Some Man-up Pills”: A Life-History Study of Muscles, Masculinity, and the Threat of Injury

Cranswick, I, Richardson, DJ, Littlewood, MA and Tod, D (2020) “Oh Take Some Man-up Pills”: A Life-History Study of Muscles, Masculinity, and the Threat of Injury. Performance Enhancement and Health, 8 (2-3). ISSN 2211-2669

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The current study explored the life-histories of 10 weight training men and aimed to understand the role muscularity played in their masculine identities. Additionally, the study sought to gain insight into the men’s responses to experiences (e.g., injury) that threaten their muscular masculinity. Semi-structured interviews and life-history timelines allowed interviewees reflect on their muscular desires, their injury responses, and the influential experiences, people, and events that shaped their perceptions and identities. The current findings demonstrated how men’s muscular desires were part of a socially shaped overarching masculine performance narrative, whereby muscularity played a central role as a form of aesthetic and instrumental bodily capital. The overarching narrative were blueprints for the men’s identities, and at times of threat the men constructed different realignment narratives to help maintain and restore their masculine identities and performances. The current study demonstrated the influence social observations and interactions over the life course had on narrative and identity construction and the meanings attributed to muscularity. The findings inform research of the need to embrace multiple masculine narratives to understand the potentially diverse meanings muscularity holds for men in different social contexts.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1106 Human Movement and Sports Sciences, 1117 Public Health and Health Services, 1701 Psychology
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
Divisions: Sport & Exercise Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2020 12:24
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2022 16:00
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/13605
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