Conclusion: Embodiment, Subjectivity and Consumer Culture

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


Fitness gyms occupy a strategic position for the study of embodiment and embodied subjectivity in contemporary, Western consumer culture. Largely organised via commercial relations of some sort, they intersect body discipline and consumership. The promotion of physical efficiency and health is surely still very much part of a governmental logic for the nation state, in particular as it faces aging populations. But efficiency, health and beauty – as summoned up in the notion of fitness – are more and more pursued via market relations and the consumption of commoditised services and goods. While the list of dietary products which claim to be both pleasant and healthy is longer and longer, fitness gyms promote themselves as places where, with a bit of effort and some fun, clients may gain long-lasting results to their otherwise forgotten bodies. Gym-goers are typically addressed as individuals who may take control of both the market and themselves, and act as consumers. To critically consider fitness culture as part of today’s consumer culture, we thereby need to explore the social persona of the fitness consumer and the notion of choice associated with it.


Rational Choice Normative Injunction Consumer Culture Social Persona Rational Choice Model 
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Copyright information

© Roberta Sassatelli 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MilanItaly

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