Lifestyle and adventure sport among youth


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Gilchrist, Paul and Wheaton, Belinda (2016) Lifestyle and adventure sport among youth In: Green, K. and Smith, A., eds. Routledge Handbook of Youth Sport. Routledge International Handbooks . Routledge, Oxford, UK, pp. 186-200. ISBN 978041584003

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An important characteristic and intensifying trend in the twenty-first century within Western sporting cultures is an increase in the range and diversity of sports practices, particularly more informal and individualistic activities. A vibrant example of this trend is the emergence and growth of what the academic and popular literature has variously termed extreme, alternative, adventure and lifestyle sports. In this chapter we consider the growing popularity and significance of these sports, illustrating their impact on the contemporary sporting landscape. First, we explore what lifestyle sports are and the ways in which they have impacted contemporary youth lifestyles, focusing on the UK, where much of our own research has been conducted and North America, where many of these sports originated and have had most impact on the sportscape. We consider how we can understand and conceptualise the youth (sub)cultures and identities that underpin them, and highlight some of the key trends in their development, including commercialisation. Second, the chapter reviews literature on lifestyle sports as an urban spatial practice and the attendant cultural politics associated with youth lifestyles expressed in urban environments through street sports like skateboarding and parkour/free-running. Third, acknowledging the virtual/real interface at the forefront of youth identities and experiences, we consider the role of digital media in fuelling the popularity, culture and economy of lifestyle sports.

Item Type: Chapter in book
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in Routledge Handbook of Youth Sport on 07/01/2016, available online:
Subjects: L000 Social Sciences > L300 Sociology > L311 Sport and Leisure
L000 Social Sciences > L700 Human and Social Geography > L720 Human and Social Geography by topic > L722 Urban Geography
Depositing User: Converis
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2016 03:01
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2017 00:38

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