Imagining Global Roots: Group Fitness, Cultural Appropriation, and Shared Identity

Claire Schmidt (Missouri Valley College)

Successful and effective group fitness classes require creation and maintenance of groups. Through participant observation, interviews, and analysis of internal and external corporate communication, this project examines how instructors and participants create group identity and culture on the local level using materials and discourse created on the global level. I explore the impacts of Les Mills International’s decision to stop using Māori language and culture to develop shared group identity among instructors and participants. Corporate commitments to diversity, antiracism, and inclusion have shifted discourse from “tribe” to “world” and “planet” while still relying on concepts of “authentic” and “essence.”

Part of 01-02 Talking about Work, Thursday, November 02, 8:30 am–10:00 am