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The social bordering of lifestyle sports: inclusive principles, exclusive reality


Rannikko, A. et al.



Journal of Youth Studies

Publication type

Artículo de revista




Exclusion, sport culture, inclusion, lifestyles


Lifestyle sports are created and maintained through global youth cultural representations disseminated by many current media channels. Lifestyle sports attract young people due to their images of sociality, joyful creativity, speed and excitement, urban exoticism and their subcultural distinction from mainstream sports. This distinction is maintained with claims of social and cultural openness. Through a case analysis conducted for a research project we asked: How open are lifestyle sports communities and to whom? Who can take part in the subcultural world of lifestyle sports? What kinds of structural or personal attributes connected with individuals restrict certain young people's participation in this world? The research material consists of qualitative and quantitative data collected among skateboarding, longboarding, parkour and roller derby practitioners in Finland. Seeking answers brings researchers to the classical sociological background variables and their intersections: gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability and socioeconomic status. In lifestyle sports, these categorisations are linked with physical skills as subcultural symbolic capital, which is central in the exclusive and inclusive practices in lifestyle sports communities. Despite the inclusive principles that lifestyle sports practitioners emphasise, the ideal lifestyle sport practitioner seems to be represented by hegemonic masculinity, muscular strength and agility symbolising sporting abilities.


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