Bowling Alone, Working Out Together: 'Bodywork' and Community Building [video]

Document Type



Presentation of findings from an ethnographic study of interaction patterns among members and workers in two Curves® franchises in different locations. Curves® International markets rationalized fitness programs for women. Using a mixed methodology of participant observation, staff interviews, and comparison of facilities' official data, these patterns are analyzed in relation to the rules of the Curves® system and the possible factors that contribute to the observable differences across the two facilities. It is argued that despite the corporate mandate for rapid and rationalized (McDonaldized) fitness, local Curves® organizational cultures and client preferences may constitute internal resistance to the McDonaldization process.