'Working out’ identity: distance runners and the management of disrupted identity

Allen-Collinson, Jacquelyn and Hockey, John (2007) 'Working out’ identity: distance runners and the management of disrupted identity. Leisure Studies, 26 (4). pp. 381-398. ISSN 0261-4367

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02614360601053384

Abstract

This article contributes fresh perspectives to the empirical literature on the sociology of the body, and of leisure and identity, by analysing the impact of long-term injury on the identities of two amateur but serious middle/long-distance runners. Employing a symbolic interactionist framework,and utilising data derived from a collaborative autoethnographic project, it explores the role
of ‘identity work’ in providing continuity of identity during the liminality of long-term injury and
rehabilitation, which poses a fundamental challenge to athletic identity. Specifically, the analysis
applies Snow and Anderson’s (1995) and Perinbanayagam’s (2000) theoretical conceptualisations
in order to examine the various forms of identity work undertaken by the injured participants, along
the dimensions of materialistic, associative and vocabularic identifications. Such identity work was
found to be crucial in sustaining a credible sporting identity in the face of disruption to the running
self, and in generating momentum towards the goal of restitution to full running fitness and reengagement
with a cherished form of leisure.

KEYWORDS: identity work, symbolic interactionism, distance running, disrupted identity

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:This article contributes fresh perspectives to the empirical literature on the sociology of the body, and of leisure and identity, by analysing the impact of long-term injury on the identities of two amateur but serious middle/long-distance runners. Employing a symbolic interactionist framework,and utilising data derived from a collaborative autoethnographic project, it explores the role of ‘identity work’ in providing continuity of identity during the liminality of long-term injury and rehabilitation, which poses a fundamental challenge to athletic identity. Specifically, the analysis applies Snow and Anderson’s (1995) and Perinbanayagam’s (2000) theoretical conceptualisations in order to examine the various forms of identity work undertaken by the injured participants, along the dimensions of materialistic, associative and vocabularic identifications. Such identity work was found to be crucial in sustaining a credible sporting identity in the face of disruption to the running self, and in generating momentum towards the goal of restitution to full running fitness and reengagement with a cherished form of leisure. KEYWORDS: identity work, symbolic interactionism, distance running, disrupted identity
Keywords:Identity, Sport, Sporting embodiment, Identity work, Symbolic interactionism, Autoethnography, Athletic identity, Distance running
Subjects:L Social studies > L300 Sociology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Sport and Exercise Science
ID Code:6529
Deposited By: Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson
Deposited On:10 Oct 2012 17:39
Last Modified:21 Jan 2014 12:38

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