Understanding Lifestyle Sports: Consumption, Identity, and Difference

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Belinda Wheaton
Routledge, 2004 - Social Science - 220 pages
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The past decade has seen a tremendous growth in the popularity of activities like skateboarding and snowboarding; sports that have been labelled as 'extreme' or 'lifestyle' and which embody 'alternative' sporting values such as anti-competitiveness, anti-regulation, high risk and personal freedom. The popularity of these activities goes beyond the teenage male youth that the media typify as their main consumers. This book examines the popularity, significance and meaning of lifestyle sport, exploring the sociological significance of these activities, particularly as related to their consumption, and the expression of politics of identity and difference.

Including much unique ethnographic research work with skaters, surfers, windsurfers, climbers, adventure racers, and ultimate frisbee players., the central themes explored in The Cultural Politics of Lifestyle Sports include:

  • How might we describe lifestyle sports?
  • What influence do commercial forces have on lifestyle sports?
  • Do lifestyle sports challenge the hegemonic masculinities inherent in a traditional sport environment?

This book is a compelling exploration of sport as a way of life, and is a vital resource for any lecturer or student interested in Sociology and Cultural Studies in a Sports context.

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