The Manchester Military Academy Weight Room: A Cult within a Cult

Sean Barret Murphy


Through analysis of behavioral patterns such as language and social norms, this
ethnographic study explores the role of masculinity in a unique culture, the weight room, within an exclusive environment: a military school. The findings come from numerous interviews, both formal and informal, hours of observation, and the use of a double-entry journal. This study reveals a masculine, military cultural group’s attitudes about gender as it relates to exercise. These attitudes significantly relate to broader cultural themes at the military institution and offer a revealing look at how a cult of masculinity undergirds day-to day life there.

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The JUE is a peer-reviewed online journal that publishes original ethnographic research by undergraduates working in a variety of disciplines. Submissions are welcomed. Contact the Editor, Karen McGarry.

ISSN 2369-8721