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When the Athletic Body Fades: Sporting Exit and Identity Transitions

The Suffering Body in Sport

ISBN: 978-1-78756-069-7, eISBN: 978-1-78756-068-0

ISSN: 1476-2854

Publication date: 24 July 2019

Abstract

Purpose

To examine the relationship that athletes establish with their bodies within sport and through their transitions out of sport, with a special focus on risk, injury and pain.

Approach

This chapter is an explanatory review of the literature focusing on the embodied and sensory experiences of athletes as they depart sport.

Findings

This chapter explores definitions and conceptualizations of the retirement process, highlights how the body is experienced during the sporting exit (as fragile and out of control) and makes connections between how bodily breakdown during sporting exits impacts an athlete’s sense of self and identity.

Implications

Through practical recommendations, this chapter highlights some of the ways in which psycho-education and an expanded focus on the body could be useful to athletes as they attempt to reconcile their new lives and bodies post-sport.

Keywords

Citation

Gairdner, S. (2019), "When the Athletic Body Fades: Sporting Exit and Identity Transitions", The Suffering Body in Sport (Research in the Sociology of Sport, Vol. 12), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 179-193. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1476-285420190000012013

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019 Emerald Publishing Limited