Paradoxes, Tensions and Contradictions in the Distance Running Social World

Authors: Shipway, R.

Start date: 15 April 2015

This presentation revisits Unruh’s notions of social worlds, exploring the organisations, practices, events and actors involved within the culture of distance running. The presentation will illustrate how the distance running social world permits both development and confirmation of a running identity and, with it, social fulfilment. In addition to the four main components of a distance running social world that are proposed, the presentation will highlight a paradox whereby individuals follow an individual pursuit within the social world of the distance running community, and thereby highlighting that the focus is on both the individual and the social. The presentation will also illustrate how the ‘running body’, is seen as a source of health and well-being and affirmation of their identity; whilst also highlighting the various contradictions and tensions that can emerge amongst distance runners in their desire to achieve a healthy body and mind.

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