The Gym, As a Social Scene Essay

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Although fitness centers and gyms may appear to be a place to break a sweat and work out with the intention of not being seen without makeup and in grungy clothes, this may not be the case, in particular when it comes to college gyms. Contrary to the findings Tamara L. Black displayed in her dissertation for the degree Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology from the University of California in Los Angeles, in which she depicts the situation of the classical fitness center as exercise dominated, after observations made while participating in the Boston College Recreational Complex, fitness centers may be more heavily focused on expressing sexual and social relations than for health related issues. Although she does not elaborate on this view …show more content…
75). Clearly the gym is capable of being an extremely gendered institution where females and males are expected to look and play a certain role. The gym, in this case, has become more about portraying an image, than actually working out and bettering ones self. The image being displayed, for women tends to be based around sexuality and putting one’s body on display, where as men are depicted as being muscular, cut, and fat-free. While observing the situation at the Boston College gym, several behaviors stuck out as portrayals of creating different definitions for the particular situation. Highly gender-separated, there were no girls in one section of the gym, and no men in another section of the gym. The elliptical section was completely women dominated, where as men exclusively populated bench press and weight training section. There was one section that was a place for both sexes to workout while looking seemingly comfortable, the mats. Girls on the elliptical’s differed from the girls in the intermingling section of the gym in appearances as well as behaviors. They appeared to be more made up, as if a new layer of makeup had been applied before working
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