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When grown-up kids go snowboarding. A study of
participants at a camp for adult snowboarders

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Autor(en)

Mari Kristin Sisjord

Abstract

Snowboarding has traditionally been viewed as an activity best suited to the younger generation, due to the age of the participants and its origin in youth cultures and counter-culture values. Studies show that adult people compose a minority of the snowboarders, which has been paid little attention in scholarly research. The present study focuses on adult snowboarders exploring why they snowboard and how they fit into the snowboarding culture. Theoretically, the study combines a generational aspect with Giddens’ perspectives on self-reflexivity and identity. The empirical investigation is based on interviews with participants at a camp for adult snowboarders, seven males and one female, all except one were aged between 33 and 41 years, one was 19 years old. The results reveal that snowboarding appears to be a central part of the interviewees’ lifestyle and identity. The quest for challenges and skill improvement are predominant motives for involvement, where bodily experiences and expressions through riding are elaborated with reference to snowboarding styles. The age differences are mainly experienced in mixed-age contexts. Therefore, the mature riders have established patterns of social interaction varying from ad hoc relations to more permanent communities.
Keywords: snowboarding, generation, Giddens, identity, challenges


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