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ANT111 paper - Evan Price ANT 111 Kwame A gym is a place...

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Evan Price ANT 111 11/29/11 Kwame A gym is a place where everyone has a common goal, to keep in shape. Depending on the person, “to keep in shape” can mean a different thing. A younger man is going to define that term much differently than an elderly woman and vice versa. Personally, I go to the gym daily to keep in shape. I life weights to build my muscle mass and run on the treadmill to keep my endurance level high. However, the gym environments that I have been exposed to are very specific. I have only worked out in fitness centers located on high school and college campuses. These fitness centers only have students working out in them. Within the student bodies in the fitness centers, stereotypes begin to develop. The male athletes are doing different exercises than the females who are just looking to stay in shape. I have been exposed to the diversity in a student-based gym and find it extremely interesting how methods of exercise affect the stereotypes of each person in the fitness center. For this reason, I decided to take this interest of mine, and explore it on a higher level that I am not familiar with. I decided to go to a public fitness center where there are a range of ages, genders, and methods of exercise to observe how the diversity of workouts affects the stereotypes in the gym. Instead of being surrounded by only students, I was now surrounded by every type of person. The various types of individuals that I had the privilege to observer were able to answer the question, “how do methods of exercise effect the stereotypes within a fitness center environment?” 1
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The public fitness center that I decided to conduct my research at was Ballys total fitness center in Syracuse, NY. I conducted two one-hour observations at the gym along with three interviews. As I oberserved, I realized that each kind of work out was home to a different kind of person. The heavy weight section was mostly made up of young strong
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