Boosting bodily capital: Maintaining masculinity, aesthetic pleasure and instrumental utility through the consumption of steroids

Kotzé, Justin and Antonopoulos, Georgios (2022) Boosting bodily capital: Maintaining masculinity, aesthetic pleasure and instrumental utility through the consumption of steroids. Journal of Consumer Culture, 21 (3). pp. 683-700. ISSN 1469-5405

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1177/1469540519846196

Abstract

Anabolic-androgenic steroid consumption is considered a significant public health issue in a number of countries but particularly in the northeast of England. Informed by ongoing ethnographic work on steroid use, this paper aims to explore two particular dimensions of bodily capital within the overarching context of hyper-masculinity. Towards this end we focus on aesthetic pleasure as the ‘boosted’ body becomes a site of contemporary consumption before taking a look at the instrumental utility derived from a sufficiently primed and tuned body. Accordingly, and with a view towards the changing currency of bodily capital, we explore the contemporary importance attached to both attaining and maintaining both elements of a ‘boosted’ bodily capital. The significant role steroids play in facilitating this is then discussed; yet rather than locating its consumption in the realm of ‘deviancy’, we view it as a means of hyper-conforming to neoliberalism’s cultural norms and values. By drawing upon a range of perspectives, we hope to offer up new insights into the demand for steroids apropos the pursuit for an aesthetically pleasing and instrumentally effective body.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship and/or publication of this article: The study was partly supported financially by the European Commission (Award reference: HOME/2011/ISEC/AG/FINEC/4000002221).
Uncontrolled Keywords: Steroids, bodily capital, masculinities, consumer culture, aesthetic pleasure
Subjects: L900 Others in Social studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Social Sciences
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2022 13:07
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2022 13:15
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/48806

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