Rituals of initiation into pain between men in bodybuilding: ethnography of a fitness center
Keywords:Physical Education and Training, Pain, Fitness Centers, Men’s Health, Masculinity, Ethnography
Understanding some social groups through the logic of their rituals reveals, in part, the way of thinking, acting and feeling of the subjects in a specific socioeconomic and cultural context. Thus, this study aimed to analyze and discuss how masculinity is exercised in bodybuilding, considering rituals of initiation into pain in body practices. Based on the anthropological perspective of symbolic interactionism, this ethnographic study was performed in a small fitness center located in a low-income neighborhood in the western of the city of Rio de Janeiro for one year. The data showed the plurality and the dynamics of identity constructions between men determine how the diversity of masculinities interferes in the modes of conceiving or taking care of their own body as well as in the engagement in physical exercises. These empirical elements contribute to thinking not only about the intervention of the physical education professionals, but also about the practices of other health professionals with their male public.