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Slim to Win: An Ethnodrama of Three Elite swimmers’ ‘Presentation of Self’ in Relation to a Dominant Cultural Ideology

Ethnodrama combined with Goffman’s ‘presentation of self’ is used to explore three elite swimmers’ ‘presentation of self’ in relation to the dominant ideology of ‘slim to win’. The ‘presentation of self’ of three swimmers is presented and analyzed according to their front stage (e.g., posting of specific images; direct media quotes) and backstage (e.g., an autoethnographic representation) performances. Goffman’s concepts of expressions ‘given’ and ‘given off’ are used to highlight how the ideology comes to be presented to others and whether the swimmer negotiates and/or contests it. As an analysis and representation, ethnodrama affords the opportunity to reveal the extent an athlete may go to to avoid a failing ‘presentation of self’ in relation to ‘slim to win,’ highlighting potential health effects (e.g., physical, emotional).