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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/27131

Title: Exploring parkrun as a social context for collective health practices: running with and against the moral imperatives of health responsibilisation.
Authors: Wiltshire, Gareth
Fullager, Simone
Stevinson, Clare
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: © Foundation for the Sociology of Health & Illness. Published by Wiley
Citation: WILTSHIRE, G., FULLAGER, S. and STEVINSON, C., 2018. Exploring parkrun as a social context for collective health practices: running with and against the moral imperatives of health responsibilisation.. Sociology of Health and Illness, 40(1), pp. 3–17.
Abstract: Critiques of public health policies to reduce physical inactivity have led to calls for practice-led research and the need to reduce the individualising effects of health promotion discourse. This paper examines how parkrun – an increasingly popular, regular, community-based 5km running event – comes to be understood as a ‘health practice’ that allows individuals to enact contemporary desires for better health in a collective social context. Taking a reflexive analytical approach, we use interview data from a geographically diverse sample of previously inactive parkrun participants (N=19) to explore two themes. First, we argue that parkrun offers a space for ‘collective bodywork’ whereby participants simultaneously enact personal body projects while also experience a sense of being “all in this together” which works to ameliorate certain individualising effects of health responsibilisation. Second, we examine how parkrun figures as a health practice that makes available the subject position of the ‘parkrunner’. In doing so, parkrun enables newly active participants to negotiate discourses of embodied risk to reconcile the otherwise paradoxical experience of being an ‘unfit-runner’. Findings contribute to sociological understandings of health and illness through new insights into the relation between health practices and emerging physical cultures, such as parkrun.
Description: This paper is in closed access until 8th Oct 2018.
Version: Accepted for publication
DOI: 10.1111/1467-9566.12622
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/27131
Publisher Link: https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9566.12622
ISSN: 0141-9889
Appears in Collections:Closed Access (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)

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