Presentation Title

CrossFit Identity: Study of Group Creation Through Social Processes

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

School

School of Sciences and Social Sciences

Discipline

Anthropology

Mentor

Rosemary Gianno

Abstract

Herve Varenné wrote a book called Americans Together (1977) that theorized American culture as the product of the dual American ideals of individualism and collectivism. I found his approach illuminating as I endeavored to identify the cultural values embedded in CrossFit groups. This ethnographic research combined participant observation and life history interviews in several different gyms in the Keene area with a review of relevant literature. The fieldwork created a comparative framework for a study of the cultural journey taken by CrossFit Keene members after their gym closed. I have applied the methods and theories of Franz Boas, Claudia Strauss, and Herve Varenné to a social process that helped develop the group’s identity and “creation myth.” In this presentation, I will discuss ways in which members of CrossFit culture in Keene work to express their individuality through their group.

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CrossFit Identity: Study of Group Creation Through Social Processes

Herve Varenné wrote a book called Americans Together (1977) that theorized American culture as the product of the dual American ideals of individualism and collectivism. I found his approach illuminating as I endeavored to identify the cultural values embedded in CrossFit groups. This ethnographic research combined participant observation and life history interviews in several different gyms in the Keene area with a review of relevant literature. The fieldwork created a comparative framework for a study of the cultural journey taken by CrossFit Keene members after their gym closed. I have applied the methods and theories of Franz Boas, Claudia Strauss, and Herve Varenné to a social process that helped develop the group’s identity and “creation myth.” In this presentation, I will discuss ways in which members of CrossFit culture in Keene work to express their individuality through their group.