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  • 1.
    Eman, Josefin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    The complexity of physical capital: How old male athletes relate to body and health2013In: International Journal of Men's Health, ISSN 1532-6306, E-ISSN 1933-0278, Vol. 12, no 1, p. 29-41Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of the present article was to explore how a relatively privileged group of old men, e.g. old athletes, relate to their bodies and health in the process of growing old. Ten male athletes from 68 to 90 years of age were interviewed in this grounded theory study. The findings suggest that the old male athletes controlled their bodies in order to gain physical capital, but that different ways of employing the body were valued in different contexts. Three such contexts were identified: the aging, athletic and masculine context. In an aging context, the men emphasized the importance of caring for one’s body and health, but in an athletic and masculine context, they expressed both a caring and a non-caring approach to body and health. In other words, on the whole the men displayed a contradictious way of relating to their bodies and health. However, they could to some extent reconcile the tensions between the different norms of body and health by emphasizing the need to preserve physical autonomy, an ideal that appeared to be valid in all three contexts.

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