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Embodying Modernity (Hardback)

Global Fitness Culture and Building the Brazilian Body

World History > The Americas

Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Series: Pitt Illuminations
Pages: 300
ISBN: 9780822947110
Published: 28th May 2022
Casemate UK Academic



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Since the late 20th-century, mainstream popular culture in Brazil has developed an intimate relationship with fitness culture – a vast, fluid, and pervasive network of images and commodities, bodies of knowledge, and discourses pertaining to idealised corporality and personhood.


Embodying Modernity works toward a conceptualisation of fitness culture, tracing its development and locating its broad existence in the contemporary Brazilian public sphere. Silva examines the role of fitness culture and the visualisation of 'fit bodies' within the history of western imperialism and its existing discourses of white supremacy, gender binarism, patriarchy, ableism, and heterosexism that continue to define Brazilian nationhood and power structures. Fitness culture in Brazil has developed within and through projects of national modernity and modernisation carried out by national elites looking to build a national population aligned with Eurocentric cultural practices and notions of normative bodies.


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