Mid-life nuances and negotiations: Narrative maps and the social construction of mid-life in sport and physical activity

Partington, Elizabeth, Partington, Sarah, Fishwick, Lesley and Allin, Linda (2005) Mid-life nuances and negotiations: Narrative maps and the social construction of mid-life in sport and physical activity. Sport, Education and Society, 10 (1). pp. 85-99. ISSN 1357-3322

Midlife paper 1 - Midlife maps2.pdf - Accepted Version

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/135733205200098820


This paper adopts a narrative perspective on the study of mid-life experiences in sport. Different types of stories about sporting mid-life are identified and discussed. Drawing upon the concept of narrative mapping, the potential of these stories to serve as narrative maps for those approaching mid-life is considered. Data from an interview study with 26 participants aged between 35 and 55 years of age, from badminton, distance running, outdoor activities and health clubs is provided. Paradigmatic and structural analyses were conducted on the data in order to identify story types and predominant narrative themes. The findings revealed a master narrative for mid-life in sport, which is that 'age is a state of mind'. In addition two further narratives were apparent. One, 'life begins at forty' was a counter-narrative, which depicted mid-life as a time of rejuvenation and an opportunity to revisit the experiences of youth. The other was an antithesis narrative, which focused upon acceptance of the ageing process and the notion of 'growing old gracefully'. Sportsmen and women linked their own stories to these idealised narrative types, but via a process of narrative slippage, created their own personal narratives of sporting mid-life. Analysis of these personal narratives indicated that there are three different maps for an individual negotiating sporting mid-life.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Equal status author. Fishwick designed, collected and analysed the data.
Subjects: C600 Sports Science
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation
Depositing User: EPrint Services
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2008 16:58
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 19:36
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/2687

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