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Title: 'Running is my life' : embodied agency, social change and identity amongst veteran elite runners
Author: Tulle, Emmanuelle.
Awarding Body: Glasgow Caledonian University
Current Institution: Glasgow Caledonian University
Date of Award: 2004
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The work presented in this thesis examines experiences of ageing amongst 21 male and female Veteran elite runners. Experiences of ageing continue to be understood within a discourse of decline. The body plays a central role in this process but primarily in its biological manifestations. Sociology has neglected ageing bodies and little is as yet known about the phenomenological dimension of growing older. The ageing literature is beginning to give some attention to the place of the body in experiences of ageing and some theoretical development has been in progress since the pioneering conceptualisation of the modern experience of bodily ageing within the Mask of Ageing perspective. However we need to specify the interaction between bodily experiences and the social location of people as they age. I am proposing to bring to light the complexity of ageing experiences by reconceptualising it within a theoretical framework influenced by the sociology of Pierre Bourdieu. This requires paying heed to the phenomenological dimension of bodily use and bodily change but also to the wider cultural and structural landscape of late modernity in which bodily use is embedded. To this end I have chosen to locate my investigation amongst a group of people whose everyday experiences take place in the context of athletics and who thus appear to challenge traditional age-appropriate expectations about appropriate bodily use and dispositions. The findings will reveal the claims for bodily competence made by agers themselves and the self-conscious engagements with the struggle for social and symbolic distinction which this involves. I will propose broadening the concept of habitus proposed by Bourdieu to include age, in order to access the changing nature of embodiment but also the potential for social change made possible by modalities of embodiment which are based on the reconstruction of ageing as ambiguity.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available