The Mind-Muscle Connection

Social beings internalize the structuring capacity of hierarchy so effectively that even particular groups self-hierarchize within a larger hierarchical framework, so that an intricate tree of hierarchies can be traced, with relative distributions of power within these particular groups. It seems almost natural to project this structure onto the things we do and people we meet.  Sports are no different. Bodybuilding, as subaltern, finds itself low on any hierarchized list of sports (assuming this classification is accepted). Hierarchies divide and subdivide through social signification, distinguishing importance, power, and privilege, in essence, separating the ‘haves’ from the ‘have nots.’ Classification and subclassification is an absolute necessity for distinguishing demarcations between groups. However, when this demarcation reflects social significance and hegemony, it becomes objectively and systemically violent and it establishes itself as hierarchy.


Bodybuilders and gym-goers in general are often inclined to establish themselves (at given points of superiority) within the…

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