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"You challenge yourself and you’re not afraid of anything!" Women’s Narratives of Running in Shanghai

Ronkainen, NJ, Shuman, A and Xu, L (2018) "You challenge yourself and you’re not afraid of anything!" Women’s Narratives of Running in Shanghai. Sociology of Sport Journal. pp. 1-29. ISSN 0741-1235

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Abstract

Distance running is a rapidly growing leisure practice among urban Chinese adults. This study explores female runners’ experiences in Shanghai through life story interviews with 14 female runners. We analyzed their stories for cultural narrative resources and gendered life scripts used in the construction of running identities and practices. Although all interviewees constructed running within narratives of health, ideal body and achievement, women also storied running as a liberating and autonomy-boosting activity. Yet, despite their privileged status as educated urban citizens, they had to negotiate essentialist gender discourses and initially lacked self-confidence in sports. They constructed their achievements as exceptional, rather than as something that all Chinese women could do.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Accepted author manuscript version reprinted, by permission, from Sociology of Sport Journal, 2018, https://doi.org/10.1123/ssj.2017-0172. © Human Kinetics, Inc.
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1608 Sociology, 1106 Human Movement And Sports Science, 1504 Commercial Services
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV561 Sports
Divisions: Sport & Exercise Sciences
Publisher: Human Kinetics
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2018 11:18
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2018 14:13
DOI or Identification number: 10.1123/ssj.2017-0172
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/9193

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