Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Reconceptualizing Risk via Extreme Sports

"There was a sense of pleasure through feeling alive, energized and vital ... sometimes lasting for days afterwards. They were felt throughout the body and they seemed to lie outside the normal range of emotions experienced by participants in their everyday life."

"...what may appear, from an outsider point-of-view, as reckless ... participants' own accounts suggest that what is required is a carefully staged scenario which produces just the right balance between challenge and comfort in order to allow a certain kind of {transcendent} experience to become possible."

Research Worth Reading via Bill and Tuna's Excellent Adventure

About a month ago, I was engaged in an on-line discussion about what constitutes 'lousy' research. In my opinion, the majority of health research related to gay men qualifies as 'lousy'. But, I thought it would be a good idea to focus on research worth reading, holding up examples of research that is well conceived and thought-provoking.

So, I went on to webofscience.com and rooted through the most recent stuff pertaining to 'gay' and 'health'. I went through literally hundreds of titles and dozens of abstracts before finding the first article that I actually wanted to read.

So, here's the first installment of 'research worth reading'.

A Phenomenological Investigation of the Experience of Taking Part in 'Extreme Sports'
Carla Willig, City University, London, UK
Journal of Health Psychology 13(5):690-702
DOI: 10.1177/1359105307082459
Abstract: "This article is concerned with what it may mean to individuals to engage in practices that are physically challenging and risky. The article questions the assumptions that psychological health is commensurate with maintaining physical safety, and that risking one's health and physical safety is necessarily a sign of psychopathology. The research was based upon semi-structured interviews with eight extreme sport practitioners. The interviews were analysed using Colaizzi's version of the phenomenological method. The article explicates the themes identified in the analysis, and discusses their implications for health psychology theory and practice."

Read the whole post.

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