Body and Society 15 (1):83-107 (2009)

Cultural capital and hegemonic masculinity are two concepts that have received intense attention. While both have received serious consideration, critique and analysis, the context or field-specificity of each is sometimes ignored. They have been used in a diversity of ways. Using ethnographic and interview data from a US male bodybuilding community, this study highlights one useful employment. Hegemonic masculinity takes different shapes in different fields of interaction, acting as a form of cultural capital: gender capital. Inherent in this discussion are the cultural contradictions apparent among individuals striving for either physical or ideological embodiments of gender capital. Individuals can attempt to embody hegemonic idealizations, but bodies are not only inscribed with gender, inscriptions are read, and read differently by different social actors and in different settings. The capacity of gender capital to remain elusive is precisely what enables gender practices and projects like bodybuilding to retain passionate participation.
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DOI 10.1177/1357034x08100148
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Doing Gender.Don H. Zimmerman & Candace West - 1987 - Gender and Society 1 (2):125-151.

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