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Seeing the way: visual sociology and the distance runner's perspective

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Employing visual and autoethnographic data from a two‐year research project on distance runners, this article seeks to examine the activity of seeing in relation to the activity of distance running. One of its methodological aims is to develop the linkage between visual and autoethnographic data in combining an observation‐based narrative and sociological analysis with photographs. This combination aims to convey to the reader not only some of the specific subcultural knowledge and particular ways of seeing, but also something of the runner's embodied feelings and experience of momentum en route. Via the combination of narrative and photographs we seek a more effective way of communicating just how distance runners see and experience their training terrain. The importance of subjecting mundane everyday practices to detailed sociological analysis has been highlighted by many sociologists, including those of an ethnomethodological perspective. Indeed, without the competence of social actors in accomplishing these mundane, routine understandings and practices, it is argued, there would in fact be no social order.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 1, 2006

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