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journal

´╗┐Chyanne Walker
April 23, 2015
Soc. 101-106

The Gym: A Million-Dollar Scam.

Contrary to the overwhelming studies regarding the rise of obesity in America, Americans are still obsessed with the appeal of appearing physically fit. While you do have a plethora of free outdoor resources, findings from the International Health, Racquet & Sports Club Association reported that in 2010 there was as many as 50.2 million people with gym memberships. However, the average person with a gym membership will only visit their gym twice a week. So why would a person pay nearly $60 dollars monthly to visit a gym facility a mere eight times a month? Using the symbolic interactionism perspective I will explain how people symbolize the gym with the allure of being physically fit. Secondly, I will utilize the conflict theory to describe how gyms also set the division between race and social classes. Finally, I will apply the functional perspective to show the manifest and latent functions of going to the gym.
The symbolic interactionism perspective is centrally regarded around symbols. Sociologist George
Herbert Mead and Charles Horton Cooley developed this theory explaining that symbols are tied to meanings in which helps us communicate with one another. Without symbols that we place upon relations, Mead and Cooley explained how our interactions would be without any sort of order. It is because of symbols that we know how to act accordingly towards ourselves, others and the objects surrounding us. The gym symbolizes a number of things; being fit is one of them.
There are countless advertisements welcoming hopeful bodies to make hard-core life-style changes at the gym. This new enthusiastic feeling is short lived once you step inside and see someone dead lifting barbells twice your weight. Still, as intense this image may seem, we signify this equipment as the guaranteed way to accomplish our desired outcomes. What goes unseen in advertisements is the strong sense...

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