”Running for life”: A theoretical sociological analysis of running culture

In Danish

Henrik Pedersen & Lone Friis Thing
Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, University of Copenhagen

In Western and advanced societies, we have witnessed an increase in long distance running training and sports events. Running seems to appeal widely – both in terms of age, gender and fitness level. You can almost refer to this development as a “mass movement” of runners consisting of a so called first wave during the 1970s and 80s and a second wave from the new millennium and onwards. This article presents a theoretical sociological analysis of running culture. The analysis is based on Bauman’s liquid modernity perspective. The article illustrates how Bauman’s concepts of synoptic power and control, individualization and community can be used to understand running culture and the importance of the running culture. The analysis provides a new understanding of individualized forms of community and thereby provides a theoretical foundation for further suggestions on the development of future policies in the area sports.

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HENRIK PEDERSEN (b. 1962) is Cand. Psych and Master in Sport and Welfare from the University of Copenhagen. He works as a consultant at the Danish Football Association (DBU) and the Danish Gymnastics and Sports Associations (DGI) and has over the years been coaching leaders, coaches, athletes and teams.

LONE FRIIS THING (b. 1964) is Associate Professor and Head of Section in the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, University of Copenhagen.

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