Project Description

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Towards a feminist theory of fitness

Towards a Feminist Theory of Fitness, builds on the momentum of a well-established and widely read blog, Fit Is a Feminist Issue, to engage feminist scholars, the general public, and public policy in conversations designed to promote a more inclusive attitude toward fitness than what is represented in today’s popular media and scholarly research about fitness.

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS:

  • Monica Taljaard (Nominated Principal Investigator; Ottawa Hospital Research Institute)

  • Dean Fergusson (Ottawa Hospital Research Institute)

  • Terry Klassen (Manitoba CIHR SUPPORT Unit)

  • Charles Weijer (Rotman Institute of Philosophy, Western University)

PROJECT SUMMARY:

Participation in physical fitness and sport yields tremendous benefits for individual and social well-being. Yet media surrounding sport and the fitness industry presents both domains as almost exclusively for young people who already appear to be “fit” (i.e. muscular men, slender women) rather than as pursuits for all. Feminist scholars have long argued that social inequality is the result of exclusive social practices that systemically shut out members of oppressed social groups and privilege members of dominant social groups. We argue that similar exclusions in fitness and sport exist and offer an alternative way of representing these pursuits to a broader audience.