AustLit logo
Issue Details: First known date: 2022... 2022 Evils of Banality in Barbell-based Group Fitness Classes : A Creative Writing-based Inquiry through Autoethnography and Discourse Analysis
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'This article approaches group fitness as a textual practice and site for creative writing research analysis. Through autoethnography and discourse analysis of cues from instructor DVDs, I demonstrate how choreographed barbell fitness classes appeal to people uprooted by personal and/or socio-economic upheavals. My treatment of uprootedness connects Hannah Arendt’s writings on twentieth-century totalitarianism with Simone Weil’s account of “the need for roots”. These I read in the context of moral philosopher Elizabeth Minnich’s call to revive Arendtian theory via attention to “the evils of banality”. The resulting reflections position group fitness as a practice that reflects and reinstates cultural attitudes. I also consider how analysis of group fitness can inform understanding of human responses to uprooting situations including 2020’s COVID-19 outbreaks and global financial challenges of the early twenty-first century. Observing that group fitness operates together with popular music, team sports, and fashion, I conclude by emphasising the need for ongoing critique of fitness alongside these and other ordinary-seeming aspects of our always-already unprecedented, never-normal lives.' 

(Publication abstract)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon TEXT Special Issue Creative Writing and Sport no. 67 2022 25080900 2022 periodical issue 'Until the mid to late 1960s in Australia, the very act of writing about sport – traditionally and essentially a working-class pursuit – would see the words immediately discounted from literary consideration. We now know sport of all kinds to be strong social, historical, increasingly political, and cultural touchstones for many communities here and elsewhere. Through its exploration of the relationships between creative writing and sport, this special issue comfortably eschews the lazy, though sturdy, conventions often ascribed to sports writing – the back page box scores, hagiographic biographies, and relentless match reportage – in favour of examinations of the intersectional, illuminations of the liminal, and foregrounding of the interdisciplinary and eclectic experiences the writing of sport can offer. As a collection, the articles in this issue illustrate the vast array of theoretical approaches brought to sports writing; they survey creative non-fiction and journalistic practices and situate poetry and short and long- form prose related to a diverse range of sporting activities alongside investigations of representation, interrogations of histories, and the combination of creative writing and sports practices as an approach to address trauma.' (Kasey Symons, Lee McGowan and Ali Hickling, Editorial introduction) 2022
Last amended 5 Sep 2022 13:35:50 Evils of Banality in Barbell-based Group Fitness Classes : A Creative Writing-based Inquiry through Autoethnography and Discourse Analysissmall AustLit logo TEXT Special Issue