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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Bodybuilding as identity in South Africa
Author:Boswell, Rosabelle
Periodical:African Identities (ISSN 1472-5851)
Geographic term:South Africa
race relations
ethnic identity
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/14725843.2016.1195250
Abstract:Recent studies suggest that contemporary body work involves 'fashioning futures' and the spectacularisation of identity to articulate multiple subjectivities in a diverse world. This article investigates the situation and experiences of black male bodybuilders in a South African town 'after' apartheid, exploring thoughts about whether bodybuilding may be a response to the continuation of racism in post-apartheid South Africa. The proposal is that the built body is not ostensibly a means to respond to racism, rather the body has become 'terrain': a palpable, modifiable entity which is produced to manage 'texture' (skin shaped by muscle, sinew, veins and fat). The textured body leads to an alternatively located self that 'displaces' the coloured skin. This article continues the call to bring the 'bring the body back' into societal analyses and adds to reflections on the multiplicity of body work. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]