Language and Societies

ANT/LIN 5320 at Wayne State University

Discourse of Fitness and Sport in the CrossFit Community of Practice

Discourse of Fitness and Sport in the CrossFit Community of Practice

Madelyn Gutkoski

CrossFit is an exercise movement and corporation that combines two distinct concepts into one; fitness and sport. This paper investigates whether CrossFit is viewed as a fitness movement or a competitive sport and how the language used on online forums has created a sense of identity for members. Previous literature on distinguishing fitness from sport is rare, and even more rare are academic articles concerning CrossFit. The systematic analysis of CrossFit as a fitness or sport is still in its infancy, and this article pioneers the way for similar studies. A literature review of sports and fitness linguistics and communities of practice is a supplement to a discourse analysis of online forums and blogs by CrossFit athletes, coaches, corporation, and “haters”. The analysis of the data shows that CrossFit has produced a group of loyal like-minded individuals that have strong relationships, which are fostered through online communities of practice. Members of CrossFit are both competitive and goal oriented, characteristic of both sport and fitness. Further research on this topic could have positive implications for duplicating the success of CrossFit as a corporation and a brand.

Keywords: CrossFit, fitness, sport, online communities of practice, linguistics of sport and fitness, discourse analysis

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April 9, 2014 - Posted by | abstract

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