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Journal Article


Norman I. Adv. Appl. Sociol. 2019; 9(6): 208-226.


(Copyright © 2019, Scientific Research Publishing)






In Sub-Saharan Africa, bodybuilders have been demonized as Vigilantes who are not violence averse, and who cause election violence. The situation is more complex and does not provide a straight forward cause and effect approach. This is an investigation into the relationship between bodybuilding and political party vigilantism and the role these actors play in election violence. The author used mixed methodology of analytical literature review and ethnographical investigative tool. Observer-Participant studied 16 bodybuilders in an Accra City Gym to determine if bodybuilding predisposes one to Political Party Vigilantism and consequently to election violence. Prompted by the generally known fact that some recreational and professional athletes' use Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids, AAS for performance enhancement and image improvement, the association between AAS and increased aggression and violence was reviewed (Hoskin & Ellis, 2015). The investigation appears to suggest that the national media may be justified for painting some bodybuilders as testosterone driven, thrill seekers who morph into vigilante groups with the propensity for violence (Beaver et al., 2008; Piacentico, Kotzalidis, del Casale et al., 2015). This finding was not sustained by other researchers (Bahsin, Storer, Berman et al., 1996; Yates et al., 1999). In the national situation, the youth appear to use bodybuilding as part of their health-seeking needs, although there are aspects of bodybuilding that may not contribute to overall good health, such as the injection of steroids for muscle mass. Those recruited into Political Party Vigilante Groups join through peer recommendation, Political Party affiliation, personal choice and direct employment by "strongmen and financiers" in the Political Parties. A more objective approach to reporting on, and understanding of bodybuilding and its association with vigilantism or election violence should be adopted. Political Party vigilantism appears to be an effect of systemic economic malaise and under-development, which ought to be addressed by central government through progressive investment in education and employment opportunities.

Language: en


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