Narrating Identity as a Dancer in a Sport Education Context.
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Donnelly and Young (1988) suggest that membership in certain subcultures requires individuals to enact an appropriate identity; transitioning to university thrusts individuals into conditions of social change, which may require them to negotiate their identity for acceptance within a new cultural setting. This study’s intention, through narrative inquiry, explored four female dancers’ lived experiences of pursuing a sport degree and moving to university. A comparison of dance and sport culture sheds light on the cultural and structural limits of narratives in the process of identity reconstruction. Employing a narrative structural and thematic analysis, this research considered the certain narratives and stories culture makes available for individuals. Using a focus group and one-to-one interviews to generate biographical accounts (Riessman, 1993), this study explored the significance dance played and still plays in their embodied experience and ability to narrate ‘self’ in a new context. This study illuminates how the dancers’ experiences failed to match the story they had been cast into, as a consequence of the culturally opposing limits of dance versus sport. Additionally, the study also found that narrative resources can expand opening spaces for individuals to reconstruct their identity.
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