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The personal is professional: Personal trainers as a case study of cultural intermediaries.

By Jennifer Smith Maguire


The article examines the discursive construction of personal training as a case study of the characteristics of cultural intermediary work. Based on an analysis of US personal training occupational texts from 1990 to 2000, the article employs a cultural economy perspective (du Gay and Pryke, 2002) to examine the importance of normative codes of professionalism, the investment of personal resources and aesthetic labour, and the tension between cultural and economic categories in representations of the work. Personal training is a particularly revealing case because of its explicit tensions between cultural factors (e.g. a professional, service-oriented ethic) and economic parameters (e.g. the entrepreneurial aspects of selling services). In response, trainers are encouraged to adopt a vocational attitude, suggesting how cultural intermediary work more generally invokes particular dispositions, which are the outcomes of negotiating between economy and culture, and the personal and the professional, in specific occupational contexts

Publisher: SAGE Publications
Year: 2008
DOI identifier: 10.1177/1367877908089265
OAI identifier:

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