‘It is passable, I suppose’ - Adult Norwegian men’s notions of their own bodies
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionHervik, S.E. & Fasting, K. (2014). "It is passable, I suppose" - Adult Norwegian men's notions of their own bodies. International Review for the Sociology of Sport. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1012690214557709 http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1012690214557709
The aim of this paper is to contribute to a better understanding of how men aged 40-90 years with different educational and ethnic backgrounds talk about their own bodies, and how social dimensions, especially masculinity and age, are reflected in their talk. Eighteen men from a small rural town in Norway were interviewed. The findings indicate that the men have a complex relationship to their own bodies. Three main themes were found in the way they talked about their own bodies; functionality in relation to their everyday life and in relation to sport and physical activity; physical and mental health; appearance both in relation to how their bodies were perceived by others and in relation to their own perception of their body. The three themes were not mutually exclusive and were often interwoven in terms of how they were talked about. The results are discussed in relation to theories of masculinity with a focus on Connell’s concept of hegemonic masculinity. One of the conclusions that can be drawn from the project is that the men expressed their relationships with their bodies in conflicting and complex ways, including concerns which can be interpreted as gendered and age-related.