Identity challenges and identity work: sporting embodiment and disrupted identity, Working the Interactionist Tradition: Contributions, Legacies and Prospects

Allen-Collinson, Jacquelyn and Hockey, John C (2015) Identity challenges and identity work: sporting embodiment and disrupted identity, Working the Interactionist Tradition: Contributions, Legacies and Prospects. In: 6th European Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction Conference, 29-31 July 2015, Salford, Manchester. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This paper addresses a topic of long-standing concern to symbolic interactionism: identity challenges and the role of ‘identity work’ in coping with identity disruptive happenings (Allen-Collinson, 2011; Hockey, 2013). In the case considered here, disruption to identity was generated by long-term injuries experienced by two recreational, non-elite but nevertheless very ‘serious’ and highly committed distance runners. Employing a symbolic interactionist framework, we analyse data from a two-year autoethnographic project examining the injury and rehabilitation process, and the identity challenges provoked by enforced withdrawal from a core element of identification. Here, we explore the role of identity work in providing a much-needed degree of continuity of identity during the liminality of long-term injury, drawing on Snow and Anderson’s (1995) and Perinbanayagam’s (2000) conceptualisations of identity work. These focus on the dimensions of materialistic, associative and vocabularic identifications. We illustrate these key forms of identification via rich data extracts from the research project. Our extended quotes cohere around the themes of: 1) the use of settings, props and appearance; 2) selective association with subcultural others; and 3) identity talk. In its varied and complex forms, identity work was found to be of great salience in sustaining a credible, if modified, running identity in the face of considerable identity challenge, and in generating much-needed momentum toward our goal of restitution to full running selves.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Identity, Symbolic interaction
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV557 Sports
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Sport & Exercise > Sport and Exercise
Research Priority Areas: Sport, Exercise, Health & Wellbeing
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 13 May 2016 15:31
Last Modified: 02 Nov 2016 17:04
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/3479

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