Browsing Arizona Anthropologist: Issue #13 (1998) by Subjects
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The Fit and the Unfit: The Presentation of "Fitness" in Everyday Life(University of Arizona, Department of Anthropology, 1998)This paper examines the ways in which individuals attempt to present themselves as healthy and fit human beings, according to the principles of dramaturgic self-presentation. Accordingly, Goffman's notions of face work, teamwork, and stigma are used to develop a framework for understanding how self-presentation impacts human interaction. This framework is then applied to a brief examination of the stigma of AIDS. Next, the framework is applied to the presentation of a healthy and fit self. Three issues are considered: what is common to the definition of fitness, what are some of the dimensions that become salient in light of that common definition, and, what strategies for presentation are possible based on the definition and dimensions. Finally, four variables that might affect which presentation strategy is adopted are considered: attractiveness, gender, age, and class. It is suggested that none of these variables operates in isolation and some of the implications for presentation are considered.