Tag Archive for identity

‘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


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.

Between Performance and Beauty: Towards a sociological understanding of trajectories to drug use in a gym and bodybuildning context

by Jesper Andreasson

Vol. 4 2013, pages 69–90
Published May 22, 2013


Emanating from an ethnographic study of Swedish bodybuilders, this article aims to present a sociological understanding of various circumstances influencing the decision to begin taking performance-enhancing drugs. Theoretically, the research builds upon a constructionist approach, in which actors’ identity claims, the way they describe themselves and their group affiliation, are understood both as individual stories of identity construction and as discursive statements. The result shows that the willingness to perform, to focus on the body’s function, is a paradigmatic narrative being expressed throughout. As such, this performance oriented lifestyle can be related to traditional values saluted within organised sports and also understood as a fairly stable part of a hegemonic masculine construction. However, the results also show how the performance logic is entwined with a strong zest for bodily aesthetics. In the article, this cultural ambiguity is used as an analytical window through which one can see how different understandings of gender, health and doping continuously are socially negotiated in relation to contemporary fitness culture and public health organisations in Swedish society. By analysing doping trajectories in this way the article suggests that drug using practises could be understood as an activity performed along a continuum of cultural and societal (over-)conformity, rather than actions representing societal abnormality.

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About the Author

JESPER ANDREASSON is associate professor of sport science at Linnaeus University and has a PhD in Sociology. He has written mainly in the field of gender studies, and the sociology of sport. Andreasson’s doctoral dissertation, The Gender of Sports from 2007 (Swedish), focuses on how gender, the body and sexuality are constructed within Swedish team sports. His more recent work is found within the field of gym/fitness culture, gender, bodybuilding and doping. He has a qualitative and ethnographic approach in his research and is currently working on a book-project focusing gender, health and pedagogies within gym and fitness culture.