Department of Cultural Studies, Allameh Tabataba’i University


A recent interest in body issues on the part of academic and scientific circles should be seen as a reaction to the radical changes in relationship between body, economy, technology and society. The growth of nutrition, health and sport technologies along with the increasing importance of agency and consumerism, have turned body and embodiment into major themes in the contemporary society. Drawing on quantitative and qualitative data on young boys and girls having regular sport activity, the present paper aims to reveal the relationship and the feelings they have towards their body. The findings indicate that modernity has made the youths more sensitive towards controlling and disciplining their body. Similarly, the competing discourses in public sphere (including the masculine discourse) act as major references in forming, understanding, and representing the body. In addition to reproducing traditional norms and bodily behaviors, such young boys and girls having regular sport activity, the present paper aims to reveal the relationship and the feelings they have towards their body.


Bourdieu, P. (1986) Forms of capital in J. Ricchardson (ed) A handbook of
the sociology of education, New York: Greenwood Press.
Bourdieu, P. (1984) Distinction, Cambridge, M.A: Harvard University
Chernin, K. (1986) The hungry self: woman, eating and identity, London:
Douglas, M.(1996) Purity and danger: an analysis of concepts of pollution
and Taboo, London: Routledge.
Douglas, M. (1997) The two worlds, in Natural Symbols, London:
Dolan, B. (1991) “Cross cultural aspects of anorexia nervosa and bulimia: a
Review”, in International Journal of Eating Disorders, Vol. 10, pp: 67-79.
Foucault, M. (1980) The eye of power, in C. Gordon (ed) Power and
knowledge:Michael Foucault’s selected interviews and other writings.
New York: Pantheon Books.
Frost, L. (2001) Young People and the body, Hampshire: Palgrave.
Featherstone, M. (1991) Consumer culture and postmodernism, London:
Featherstone, M. (1987) “Leisure, symbolic power and the life course,
in J. Horne, et al (eds) Sport, Leisure and Social Relation”, London:
Gunewardene, A. et al. (2001)” Exposure to westernization and dieting”, in
A cross cultural study, International Journal of Eating Disorders, Vol. 29,
pp: 289- 293.
Gimlin, D. (2000) “Cosmetic surgery: beauty as commodity, Qualitative
Sociology”, Vol. 25, No. 1, pp: 77-98.
Ginsberg, L. (2000)” The hard work of working out”, Journal of Sport and
Social Issues, Vol. 24, No. 3, pp: 260-281.
Grogan, S. and Wainwright, N. (1996)” Growing up in the culture of
slenderness”, in Women`s study: International Forum, Vol. 19(6) pp: 665-
Hancock, P. et al. (2000) The body culture and society, Buckingham: Open
University Press.
Hebdige, D. (1979) Subcultures: the meaning of style, New York: Methuen.
Johansson, T. (2000) Social psychology and modernity, Buckingham: Open
University Press.
Johansson, T. (1996) “Gendered spaces: the gym culture and the construction
of Gender”, in Young, Vol. 3, pp: 385-394.
Katzman, A. and Lee, S. (1997) “Beyond body image: the integration of
feminist and transcultural theories in the understanding of starvation”, in
Journal of Eating Disorders, Vol. 22, pp: 305-334.
Littlewood, R. (1995)” Psycho pathology and personal agency: Modernity,
Culture change and eating disorders in South Asian societies”, in British
Journal Of Medical Psychology, Vol. 68, 45-63.
Macsweeny, M. (1993) Anorexic bodies: a feminista nd sociological
perspectiveon anorexia nervosa. London: Routledge.
Malson, H. (1998) The thin woman, feminism, post-structuralism and the
social psychology of anorexia nervosa. London: Routledge.
Malson, H. (1999)” Women under eraser: Anorexic bodies in postmodern
Context”, in Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, Vol.9.
pp. 137-153.
Miller, M. and Pumariega, A. J. (2001) Culture and eating disorders: a
historical and cross cultural review, Psychiatry, 64(2)pp: 93-110.
Rosen, T. (1985) Strong and sexy: the new body beautiful. New York:
Strigel-Moore, R. (1995)” A feminist perspective on the etiology of eating
Disorder”, in K. D. Brownell and C. G. Fairburn (eds) Eating disorders and
obesity: a comparative handbook. New York: The Guilford Press.
Thompson, B. (1994) A hunger so wide and so deep. Minneapolis: University
of Minnesota.
Turner, B. (1996) The body and society. London: Sage.