Runners’ tales: autoethnography, injury and narrative

Allen-Collinson, Jacquelyn and Hockey, John (2001) Runners’ tales: autoethnography, injury and narrative. Auto/Biography, IX (1&2). pp. 95-106. ISSN 0967-5507

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Abstract

This paper examines the importance of narrative activity in the construction of the injured and rehabilitated sporting body and the successful reconstruction of positive
athletic identity. It is based on autoethnographic research undertaken by the authors,both of whom are middle/ longdistance runners, during a twoyear
period of injury and gradual rehabilitation. The paper delineates certain narratives which were generated
during the process of injury and recovery, commencing with narratives of suffering and sacrifice, through those of pilgrimage and blame to the more positive narratives of
compensation and subsequent empowerment and progress. We examine the role played by these narratives in enabling us to make sense phenomenologically of our injuried bodies, to achieve momentum and to maintain positive running identities in the face of threat to the running selves. Via narrative exchanges, as ‘co-tellers’we
achieved a high degree of intersubjectivity which was crucial to our eventual return to full running fitness and athletic identity.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:This paper examines the importance of narrative activity in the construction of the injured and rehabilitated sporting body and the successful reconstruction of positive athletic identity. It is based on autoethnographic research undertaken by the authors,both of whom are middle/ longdistance runners, during a twoyear period of injury and gradual rehabilitation. The paper delineates certain narratives which were generated during the process of injury and recovery, commencing with narratives of suffering and sacrifice, through those of pilgrimage and blame to the more positive narratives of compensation and subsequent empowerment and progress. We examine the role played by these narratives in enabling us to make sense phenomenologically of our injuried bodies, to achieve momentum and to maintain positive running identities in the face of threat to the running selves. Via narrative exchanges, as ‘co-tellers’we achieved a high degree of intersubjectivity which was crucial to our eventual return to full running fitness and athletic identity.
Keywords:Autoethnography, Sports injury, Sociology of embodiment, Running, Distance runners
Subjects:L Social studies > L300 Sociology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Sport and Exercise Science
ID Code:6686
Deposited By: Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson
Deposited On:23 Oct 2012 21:15
Last Modified:23 Oct 2012 21:15

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