Guys with Big Muscles Have Misplaced Priorities: Masculinities and Muscularities in Young South Korean Men's Body Image

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Men's body image is an issue of increasing importance as related illnesses continue to grow in prevalence around the world. However, cross-cultural attention to men's body image experiences has been relatively understudied. Based on data derived from cognitive anthropological methods of cultural domain analysis, I develop the concept of "muscularities" to more effectively examine the expectations inherent in multifarious models of body image men continuously navigate. Related to but distinct from "masculinities"-the recognition of culture-bound hierarchies of ways of doing-being a man-"muscularities" attends to the culturally particular ways in which muscles are conceived and evaluated as indices of socioeconomic status, intelligence, social skills, and professionalism, to name a few. Young South Korean men's experiences of chan'gunyuk ("small muscle") and manun kunyuk ("large muscle") challenge universalist assumptions about the kinds of muscles people value in global perspective, demonstrate the necessity of recognizing multiple muscularities in research, and encourage new directions of inquiry that attend to the consequences of variable embodiments of muscularities.

Cultural domain analysis, Male body image, South Korea, Masculinities, CULTURE, TELEVISION, CONSENSUS, GAY, FAT, Anthropology, Psychiatry, Social Sciences, Biomedical
Monocello, L. (2022). “Guys with Big Muscles Have Misplaced Priorities”: Masculinities and Muscularities in Young South Korean Men’s Body Image. In Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry (Vol. 47, Issue 2, pp. 443–465). Springer Science and Business Media LLC.