© 2010

Fitness Culture

Gyms and the Commercialisation of Discipline and Fun


Part of the Consumption and Public Life book series (CUCO)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vii
  2. Roberta Sassatelli
    Pages 17-41
  3. Roberta Sassatelli
    Pages 42-66
  4. Roberta Sassatelli
    Pages 67-96
  5. Roberta Sassatelli
    Pages 97-119
  6. Roberta Sassatelli
    Pages 120-143
  7. Roberta Sassatelli
    Pages 144-167
  8. Roberta Sassatelli
    Pages 168-198
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 208-236

About this book


This book provides a sociological perspective on fitness culture as developed in commercial gyms, investigating the cultural relevance of gyms in terms of the history of the commercialization of body discipline, the negotiation of gender identities and distinction dynamics within contemporary cultures of consumption.


consumption fitness gender interaction sociology

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of MilanItaly

About the authors

ROBERTA SASSATELLI is Associate Professor of Cultural Sociology, Department of Social and Political Studies at the University of Milan, Italy. She has published widely on consumer culture and the sociology of the body and cultural theory. Her most recent publication in English is Consumer Culture: History, Theory and Politics.

Bibliographic information


"This engaging exploration of what sustains gym membership as a consumer practice will be of interest to scholars of studies of consumption, the body, leisure and health." - CHOICE Review

"Rejecting cultural dupe models, so prevalent in consumerist analyses of fitness, Sassatelli provides a comprehensive analysis of the range of complicated and sometimes contradictory meanings that participants use to understand their continued participation in a commodified fitness culture." - Journal of Consumer Culture

"Sassatelli has written a great book which will be of wide interest and value to scholars of both embodiment and consumption as well as to the narrower fraternity of 'gym researchers.'" - SocioLogica

"An important contribution to contemporary thought on consumer culture." - Journal of Sociology