Det Mandlige Kropsideal

Jeppe August Valeur & Tore Harboe Henriksen

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


This thesis discusses the questions of ethical and social responsibility, companies face, when utilizing images of bodies in their marketing. The problem is exemplified by the Danish sports nutrition industry, and asks how the use of greatly muscular and athletic bodies in advertising are effecting young men, and furthermore how the sports nutrition industry should relate to any ethical and social responsibilities. This thesis begins with a description of the used theories and method. Initially, it offers a reflection over the qualitative interview method, which is used in a sociological analysis of the marketing’s consequences. Then, a review of Anthony Giddens’ theories regarding self-identity and modernity (1996) is given – these theories will be used to analyze the empirical aspects of the qualitative interview research. Subsequently, there’s a description of Michael Porters Five Forces model (1980), which is used in the economical analysis of the sports nutrition industry’s competitive conditions. Finally, a review of Jacob Rendtorff’s (2007) theories about company ethichs and social responsibility is given, together with a perspective on ethical considerations regarding marketing by Dan Shaver (2003). In assessing the impact that the body ideal contained in the sports nutrition industry's marketing has for the individual and society, we use Anthony Giddens (1996) to analyze four young men's perceptions of others and their own bodies. Simultaneously, the theories of Anthony Giddens are used to analyze how the fitness and bodybuilding lifestyle has consequences for the individual. In the analysis of the sports nutrition industry, it’s economic and competitive conditions, and the companies’ choice of marketing strategy, Michael Porters Five Forces model is used together with a research paper about the sports nutrition industry (Euromonitor 2012), and available knowledge about the companies. It is assessed which of the five forces that have the greatest influence on the sports nutrition industry's competitiveness and profitability. This is done to surmise the companies’ choice of strategy and thereby their reason to use muscular male bodies in their visual marketing. Finally, theories about the ethics of business and marketing by Jacob Rendtorff (2007) and Dan Shaver (2003) are included, to discuss the results of the sociological and economic analysis. This includes an assessment of the sports nutrition industry’s production, reproduction and/or reinforcement of a societal body ideal for young men, and thus how much responsibility they actually have in relation to the consequences of this body ideal. Subsequently, it seeks to decide whether the sports nutrition industry’s advertising is of general benefit or harm to society as a whole. Finally, the paper discusses whether the sports nutrition industry has an ethical and social responsibility in relation to their way to market themselves and how they should relate to this. This results in a conclusion on the papers problem statement and working questions, to give an overview of the papers partial conclusions and results. Lastly, we have related to a similar problem, regarding men’s relation to their own body and the bodily regimes in the modern society. It has risen during the execution of the thesis and is thought to encourage to further research within the area.

UddannelserBasis - Samfundsvidenskabelig Bacheloruddannelse, (Bachelor uddannelse) Basis
Udgivelsesdato31 maj 2014
VejledereLuise Li Langergaard


  • Markedsføring
  • Fitness