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The complexity of physical capital: How old male athletes relate to body and health
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2013 (English)In: International Journal of Men's Health, ISSN 1532-6306, E-ISSN 1933-0278, Vol. 12, no 1, 29-41 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of the present article was to explore how a relatively privileged group of old men, e.g. old athletes, relate to their bodies and health in the process of growing old. Ten male athletes from 68 to 90 years of age were interviewed in this grounded theory study. The findings suggest that the old male athletes controlled their bodies in order to gain physical capital, but that different ways of employing the body were valued in different contexts. Three such contexts were identified: the aging, athletic and masculine context. In an aging context, the men emphasized the importance of caring for one’s body and health, but in an athletic and masculine context, they expressed both a caring and a non-caring approach to body and health. In other words, on the whole the men displayed a contradictious way of relating to their bodies and health. However, they could to some extent reconcile the tensions between the different norms of body and health by emphasizing the need to preserve physical autonomy, an ideal that appeared to be valid in all three contexts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Men's Studies Press , 2013. Vol. 12, no 1, 29-41 p.
Keyword [en]
physical capital, old athletes, aging, body, health, masculinity
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-54020DOI: 10.3149/jmh.1201.29OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-54020DiVA: diva2:515078
Projects
Welfare and Work in an Ageing Society
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare
Available from: 2012-04-13 Created: 2012-04-11 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Growing old and still practising competitive sports: An exploration of acting-space and sense-making processes among old women and men
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Growing old and still practising competitive sports: An exploration of acting-space and sense-making processes among old women and men
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The thesis explores how the way athletically active old men and women make sense of their acting-space affects their participation in competitive sports and conversely how their participation in competitive sports affect their sense-making process and acting-space. It puts emphasis on the sociological point of intersection of three different research fields; sports science, critical gerontology and gender studies. Concretely, it is inspired by grounded theory research design and based on interviews with twenty-two athletically active men and women over the age of 65. The thesis consists of four articles, and together these show that men and women experience certain constraints of acting-space in the context of competitive sports, which primarily seem to be related to norms of age and gender. At the same time, the thesis shows that by practising sports old adults, especially old women, are able to transgress these constraints and possibly challenge dominant constructions of age and gender.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå Universitet, 2012. 42 p.
Series
Akademiska avhandlingar vid sociologiska institutionen, Umeå Universitet, ISSN 1104-2508 ; A68
Keyword
aging, sports, gender, acting-space, sense making, old athletes, the process of growing old
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-54034 (URN)978-91-7459-401-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-05-04, Norra Beteendevetarhuset, Hörsal 1031, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-04-13 Created: 2012-04-12 Last updated: 2012-11-16Bibliographically approved

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Eman, Josefin

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