• Kirstine Bjørn
This thesis investigates the strategies employed by female fitness influencers in addressing barriers to accessing the gym as a woman, and explores the responses of their followers. Combining critical discourse and multimodal analysis and netnography, the study examines the multifaceted nature of these barriers and the role of online communities in fostering support and information exchange. Building upon Turnock's (2021) work, the analysis uncovers two categories of barriers: those directly related to the gym space and social-cultural barriers entrenched in societal norms and expectations.

Through critical discourse multimodal analysis, the study highlights the discursive strategies employed by fitness influencers to challenge and address these barriers. By promoting healthy lifestyles and self-acceptance, influencers provide alternative narratives that aim at empowering women and challenge traditional gender roles within fitness contexts. Additionally, netnographic analysis of comment sections on Instagram reels reveals that they serve as online spaces where followers can exchange information, advice, and experiences related to going to the gym. These comment sections foster a sense of community among followers, creating a supportive environment for discussing and navigating barriers to gym access as well as social-cultural barriers.

While the study recognizes the positive impact of fitness influencers and the sense of community facilitated by online platforms, it emphasizes the need for further research to fully understand the significance of social-cultural barriers. Investigating the broader historical and cultural context surrounding these barriers is essential for a comprehensive analysis.

By undertaking additional research, scholars can deepen their understanding of the complexities surrounding social-cultural barriers. This knowledge can contribute to the development of effective strategies to address and overcome these barriers, promoting inclusive gym environments that cater to the needs and aspirations of all women. Ultimately, this research aims to empower women, facilitate their access to gym spaces, and challenge societal norms that perpetuate gender inequalities in the realm of fitness. The findings also highlight the role of online communities in providing support and fostering a sense of belonging among followers, emphasizing the
Publication date31 May 2023
Number of pages52
ID: 532296421