Distance running as play/work: training-together as a joint accomplishment

Allen-Collinson, Jacquelyn and Hockey, John (2013) Distance running as play/work: training-together as a joint accomplishment. In: Ethnomethodology at play. Ashgate, London. ISBN 9781409437550

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Abstract

This chapter considers a mundane activity that can be characterized as both hard (physical) work and ‘play’ of a certain kind, in that it can be undertaken as a pleasurable, playful and relaxing leisure activity. For us as ‘veteran’ runners, apart from in the early days of our youthful running biographies, when first introduced to running as a ‘fun’ leisure activity, running constitutes an activity we define as mundane, but ‘serious leisure’ (Stebbins 1993, 2011), immersing us in a culture of commitment in leisure (Tomlinson 1993). We briefly describe below our running biographies in order to situate the ethnomethodological analysis of our ‘running-together‘ as a crafted co-production, accomplished on a quasi daily basis over many years. Whilst running is therefore defined as a ‘serious‘ activity for us, it also constitutes outdoors ‘play‘ when juxtaposed against the long hours of arduous ‘headwork‘ indoors, as required by our paid jobs as academics. In order to address our topic of running-together (specifically in training, rather than in racing), this chapter is structured as follows. We first examine the general theoretical framework of ethnomethodology, and consider the literature that utilises an ethnomethodological approach to sports and physical activity participation, as this body of work relates more directly to our own lived experience of running than does literature examining other forms of ‘play‘, such as the game of chequers/checkers (Livingston 2006), for example. We then proceed to describe briefly the collaborative autoethnographical/autophenomenographical research project from which our illustrative data are drawn, before portraying these data via an ethnomethodological analytic lens.

Item Type:Book Section
Additional Information:This chapter considers a mundane activity that can be characterized as both hard (physical) work and ‘play’ of a certain kind, in that it can be undertaken as a pleasurable, playful and relaxing leisure activity. For us as ‘veteran’ runners, apart from in the early days of our youthful running biographies, when first introduced to running as a ‘fun’ leisure activity, running constitutes an activity we define as mundane, but ‘serious leisure’ (Stebbins 1993, 2011), immersing us in a culture of commitment in leisure (Tomlinson 1993). We briefly describe below our running biographies in order to situate the ethnomethodological analysis of our ‘running-together‘ as a crafted co-production, accomplished on a quasi daily basis over many years. Whilst running is therefore defined as a ‘serious‘ activity for us, it also constitutes outdoors ‘play‘ when juxtaposed against the long hours of arduous ‘headwork‘ indoors, as required by our paid jobs as academics. In order to address our topic of running-together (specifically in training, rather than in racing), this chapter is structured as follows. We first examine the general theoretical framework of ethnomethodology, and consider the literature that utilises an ethnomethodological approach to sports and physical activity participation, as this body of work relates more directly to our own lived experience of running than does literature examining other forms of ‘play‘, such as the game of chequers/checkers (Livingston 2006), for example. We then proceed to describe briefly the collaborative autoethnographical/autophenomenographical research project from which our illustrative data are drawn, before portraying these data via an ethnomethodological analytic lens.
Keywords:Ethnomethodology, Distance running, Sport, Sociology of everyday life
Subjects:L Social studies > L300 Sociology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Sport and Exercise Science
ID Code:6257
Deposited By: Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson
Deposited On:26 Sep 2012 17:32
Last Modified:26 Apr 2013 12:19

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