Sport and Narrative – 2/6

Narrative is about the telling of stories. In the telling, listening and reading of stories the opportunity arises to share experiences about our own lives and the lives of others (Sparkes, 1999). This said the central tenet of narrative as research is that identities are constructed, in a process of finding purpose, order and meaning in lives told (Berger & Quinney, 2004). Crucially however narrative is understood as a form of social practice in which stories are not simply reflections of actual experiences but are drawn upon from social and cultural scripts available to us. This lecture will explore research that takes a narrative approach to viewing and understanding sporting lives. Some key questions we explore are: What stories circulate in the lives of sports people and what functions do they serve? What is the link between these stories and the larger social world? How do sports people accommodate moments and turning points in their life stories? How do stories that culture make available impact future life for the individual?

Com: Carly Stewart PhD (Cardiff School of Sport, Cardiff Metropolitan University)


Sparkes, A. C. (1999). Exploring Body Narratives. Sport, Education and Society, 4(1), 17–30.

Berger, R. J. & Quinney, R. (2004) Storytelling sociology: Narrative as social inquiry. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienne