FITTING IN: (RADICALLY) CONTEXTUALIZING THE CROSSFIT PHENOMENON
Edmonds, Shaun E
Andrews, David L
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CrossFit is a global fitness and cultural phenomenon whose ascendance over the past two decades has made it a dominant physical cultural practice, and a powerful influence within contemporary society. Through a multi-site and multi-method contextualization of CrossFit, this dissertation aims to critically explicate the power and power relations operating in, and through, the institutional, discursive, subcultural, and experiential dimensions of the CrossFit assemblage. This dissertation is presented through a collection of four academic journal articles prepared for publication in specific refereed journals. Chapter 1 uses the theory/method of articulation to radically contextualize CrossFit in, and through, the contemporary moment. Chapter 2 performs a critical discourse analysis on three key themes within CrossFit to explore how, and in what ways, biopower is operationalized and CrossFit subjectivities are created in and through CrossFit’s intertextual assemblage. Chapter 3 uses spatial analysis, participant interviews, and narrative vignettes to elucidate the ways in which a nostalgic reimagining of place influences the development of community, lifestyle, and personal health within a CrossFit Box. Chapter 4 provides a Deleuzian autoethnographic narrative that explores the process by which I move from insider to outsider status within CrossFit, and how that experience is co-constituted with other members of the CrossFit Box. While each chapter takes different theoretical, methodological, and empirical emphases, by taking a holistic approach to the CrossFit phenomenon this dissertation develops a nuanced and grounded explication of the CrossFit brand, and its entanglement with broader political, social, cultural, and economic forces and relations which constitute the contemporary moment.