‘You’ve been in the house too long, she said, and I naturally fled’: An analysis of habitus among Danish e-sport players

by Thomas Bjørner


Vol. 5 2014, pages 149–166
Published December 7, 2014

thomas-bjornerAbstract

Patterns in electronic sport (e-sport) have changed with increasing seriousness and professionalization in competitive activities, patterned behaviours, social structures and institutionalized settings. The aim of this study is to explore some Danish e-sport players’ habitus of e-sport with a special focus on the significant amount of training taking place at home and individual identities displayed through e-sport. The basis for the study is 14 interviews, where seven players were interviewed twice, an in-depth interview at a competition event and a family interview in the players’ home. The players have very similar embodied dispositions, traditions, beliefs, morals, values and ways of practising e-sport. The motivation for playing e-sport is not an internalization of a family norm, but happens in a social group context with friends. However, the findings also reveal that e-sport is perceived as a low status activity in a certain boy-culture, and e-sport has a special structured context and hierarchical relations with no unifying clubhouse or coaches involved, with most training and creation of social life taking place on-line from home, which also affects the intimate sociability of the home.


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About the Author

THOMAS BJØRNER is Associate Professor in Media Sociology at Aalborg University. His research lies within qualitative research advancements, which also imply a mixed methods strategy. His research addresses besides methodological issues within interviews, observations, field studies and user evaluations also the characterisation of media usages in different contexts. His research cases have been within the fields of mobility, gaming and sports. Since 2007 he had been vice chairman in the research network for qualitative methods and member of the research clusters C-MUS (The Centre for Mobility and Urban Studies), MoTT (Mobility and Tracking Technologies) and Games, Communication and Learning. Thomas Bjørner teaches at both the bachelor and master levels in courses within methodology and media sociology, beside which he also organizes two PhD courses in advanced qualitative methods.