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Racing against time? Aspects of the temporal organization of the runner's world

Smith, GWH 2002, 'Racing against time? Aspects of the temporal organization of the runner's world' , Symbolic Interaction, 25 (3) , pp. 343-362.

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Drawing on documentary sources and participant observation, I seek to specify salient temporal characteristics of the social world of running. Extant analyses seem preoccupied with criticizing running temporality for reproducing, in a sporting context, those Taylorized, alienating beliefs and oppressive practices typical of capitalist sites of production. A different point of departure, runners' own understandings, shows that temporal considerations are a key constituent of the runner's self that is not experienced as alienated. Three aspects of running temporality are highlighted: the large-scale temporal organization of the running world, with a focus on the cyclical racing pattern and the planned and scheduled character of training; temporal features of running careers; and the way in which "times" figure in the activity of running and its description. I conclude that these temporal organizations are important symbolic resources that help to build and reaffirm the runner's self. Rather than time alienating and exploiting runners, runners exploit it as a constructive resource that they can deploy in diverse ways.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Health & Social Care > School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work & Social Sciences > Centre for Social Research
Journal or Publication Title: Symbolic Interaction
Publisher: University of California Press
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 01956086
Related URLs:
Depositing User: H Kenna
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2009 15:33
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2014 09:31

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