Deviant or Normal? Female Bodybuilders' Accounts of Social Reactions
In response to calls for more inclusive and nuanced studies of deviance, Heckert and Heckert (2002) developed a typology that incorporates both normative and reactive definitions. Their model accounts for negative deviance, positive deviance, deviance admiration, and deviant conformity (rate-busting). Through participant observation and in-depth interviews with ten amateur female bodybuilders at a university in the United States, we apply the typology to explain their perceptions of social reactions from a variety of audiences. Female bodybuilders' accounts of others' reactions to their increasingly muscular bodies, extreme dieting practices, and intense workout routines provide intriguing empirical examples of all four deviance types. Findings reflect the complexity of a deviance-conformity continuum and support the call for studies that go beyond negative social response and countercultural behavior or appearance. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
Chananie-Hill, Ruth A.; McGrath, Shelly A.; and Stoll, Justin, "Deviant or Normal? Female Bodybuilders' Accounts of Social Reactions" (2012). Faculty Publications. 1731.