Taking sporting autobiographies seriously as an analytical and pedagogical resource in sport, exercise and health
Taylor and Francis
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This article makes the case for taking sporting autobiographies seriously as both an analytical and pedagogical resource. First, the nature of autobiography is clarified and the interest shown by other disciplines in this genre is discussed. Next, the prevailing negative view of sporting autobiographies and the assumptions underlying them are outlined. These are then countered by the presentation of a more positive view that challenges a number of alleged ‘problems’ associated with sporting autobiographies that include being tainted by commercial commitments, the presence of the ghostwriter, and not being able to guarantee unmediated authenticity and ‘truth’. Various forms of narrative analysis (thematic, structural, performative/dialogical) are then described and examples of each of these being applied to sporting autobiographies are provided. Finally, attention is given to the use of sporting autobiographies as a pedagogical resource and the ways in which they might be productively used with students are discussed.
Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health;
Sparkes, A.C. and Stewart, C. (2016) 'Taking sporting autobiographies seriously as an analytical and pedagogical resource in sport, exercise and health', Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 8(2), pp.113-130. DOI: 10.1080/2159676X.2015.1121915.
Article published in Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health on 20 December 2015 (online), available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/2159676X.2015.1121915.
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Grant ID: Cardiff Metropolian (Internal))
- Sport Research Groups 
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