Endurance Running : A Socio-Cultural Examination book cover
1st Edition

Endurance Running
A Socio-Cultural Examination

ISBN 9781138067851
Published April 28, 2017 by Routledge
282 Pages

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Book Description

Running is a fundamental human activity and holds an important place in popular culture. In recent decades it has exploded in popularity as a leisure pursuit, with marathons and endurance challenges exerting a strong fascination. Endurance Running is the first collection of original qualitative research to examine distance running through a socio-cultural lens, with a general objective of understanding the concept and meaning of endurance historically and in contemporary times.

Adopting diverse theoretical and methodological approaches to explore topics such as historical conceptualizations of endurance, lived experiences of endurance running, and the meaning of endurance in individual lives, the book reveals how the biological, historical, psychological, and sociological converge to form contextually specific ideas about endurance running and runners. 

Endurance Running is an essential book for anybody researching across the entire spectrum of endurance sports and fascinating reading for anybody working in the sociology of sport or the body, cultural studies or behavioural science.

Table of Contents

1. Critical Considerations of Runners and Running (William Bridel, Pirkko Markula, & Jim DenisonPart 1: Running Beginnings  2. "Astounding Exploits" and "Laborious Undertakings": Nineteenth-Century Pedestrianism and the Cultural Meanings of Endurance (Mary Louise Adams)  3. On the Entangled Origins of Mud Running: "Overcivilization," Physical Culture, and Overcoming Obstacles in the Spartan Race (Gavin Weedon)  4. Charting the Development of Contemporary Endurance Running Training Theory (Joseph P. Mills & Jim Denison)  5. Beyond Boston and Kathrine Switzer: Women’s Participation in Distance Running (Laura ChasePart 2: Running Because  6. Foot Trouble: The Minimalist Running Movement (Pirkko Markula)  7. Disrupting Identity: An Affective Embodied Reading of Runner’s World (Richard Pringle)  8. Boston Strong: Sport, Terror/ism, and the Spectacle Pedagogy of Citizenship (Michael D. Giardina, Ryan King-White, & Kyle Bunds)  9. Lopez Lomong: Enduring Life (Theresa Walton-Fisette)  10. Enduring Disability, Ableism, and Whiteness: Three Readings of Inspirational Endurance Athletes in Canada (Danielle PeersPart 3: Running Bodies  11. "My hormones were all messed up": Understanding Female Runners Experiences of Amenorrhea (Holly Thorpe)  12. Ultrarunning: Space, Place, and Social Experience (Maylon Hanold)  13. An Interdisciplinary Conversation About Running Between Two Academics Who Run (M. J. Perrier & William Bridel)  14. Hitting a Purple Patch: Building High Performance Runners at Runtleborough University (P. David Howe)  15. Digging In: The Sociological Phenomenology of "Doing Endurance" in Distance-Running (John Hockey & Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson)  16. Enduring Ideas (William Bridel)

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William Bridel is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Calgary, Canada. His teaching and research focus on socio-cultural aspects of the body, sport, physical activity, and health. His research interests include: the emergence of ultra-endurance sports as forms of leisure activities; social and political aspects of health; sport-related pain and injury; and, gender, sexuality, and sport. His work has appeared in various journals including The Sociology of Sport Journal and Leisure/Loisir. His current list of projects includes collaborations with national and provincial sport organizations, focused on inclusivity and diversity

Pirkko Markula is a professor of socio-cultural studies of physical activity at the University of Alberta, Canada. Her research interests include social analyses of dance, exercise, and sport in which she has employed several theoretical lenses ranging from critical, cultural studies research to Foucault and Deleuze. While her work is based on qualitative research methods (textual analysis, participant-observation, interviewing, ethnography), she is also interested in methodological experimentation including autoethnography and performance ethnography. She is the previous editor of the Sociology of Sport Journal. She is the co-author, with Michael Silk, of Qualitative Research for Physical Culture (Routledge, 2011), co-author with Richard Pringle, of Foucault, Sport and Exercise: Power, Knowledge and Transforming the Self (Routledge, 2006), editor of Feminist Sport Studies: Sharing Joy, Sharing Pain (SUNY Press, 2005) and Olympic women and the media: International perspectives (Palgrave, 2009), co-editor with Eileen Kennedy of Women and Exercise: Body, Health and Consumerism (Routledge, 2011), co-editor, with Sarah Riley, Maree Burns, Hannah Frith and Sally Wiggins, of Critical Bodies: Representations, Identities and Practices of Weight and Body Management (Palgrave, 2007) and co-editor, with Jim Denison, of Moving Writing: Crafting Movement in Sport Research (Peter Lang, 2003)

Jim Denison is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Alberta, Canada. A sport sociologist and coach educator, his research primarily examines the formation of endurance running coaches’ practices through a Foucauldian lens. Along with numerous book chapters and referred articles, he edited Coaching Knowledges: Understanding the Dynamics of Performance Sport (2007, AC Black) and was co-editor of The Routledge Handbook of Sports Coaching (2013, Routledge). In addition, Denison is the author of The Greatest (2004, Breakaway Books), the official biography of the Ethiopian running legend Haile Gebrselassie, and Bannister and Beyond: The Mystique of the Four-Minute Mile (2003, Breakaway Books), a collection of in-depth interviews with a wide-array of sub four-minute milers


"[Endurance Running] offers much insight into running as a cultural phenomenon. The book is interesting because it offers a scholarly contribution to a contemporary, socio-cultural practice, which for the most part is dominated by natural scientific perspectives that tend to quantify running into durations, intensities and frequencies."— Øyvind Førland Standal, www.idrottsforum.org

"It gives an interesting overview of the field of endurance running and relates it to history, psychology, sociology, and many other academic disciplines. Although it is an academic volume, the authors’ use of stories and personal experiences in most chapters makes the volume a fairly easy read. I think it will appeal to a wide audience." - Diane Finley, PsycCRITIQUES, September 2016