© 2019 CSIC Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas. All rights reserved. The first hygienic gymnasiums, founded in the eighteen sixties, were an effective support for a body culture that, particularly in Catalonia, began to offer eloquent signs of social differentiation among members of the bourgeoisie. The ideological and cultural reciprocities maintained by gym users served as a basis for the propagation of emerging practices and discourses, both hygienic and therapeutic, as well as self-control and recreation, which, based on physical exercise, would become an important device for the affirmation of class. Through a documentary comparison, a socio-critical analysis of the venue and use of gyms is undertaken. It is concluded that the activity of nineteenth-century gymnasiums, especially those in Barcelona, gave rise to an embryonic privative physical culture that operated as a platform for the socialisation and moralisation of the bourgeoisie.
- Body culture
- Social identity