When an Ironman Triathlon Isn’t Hard Enough: The Beer Mile as a Subworld Ritual

in Sociology of Sport Journal
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD $24.95

Student 1 year subscription

USD $64.00

1 year subscription

USD $85.00

Student 2 year subscription

USD $121.00

2 year subscription

USD $158.00

Rituals may organically manifest on the periphery of official sport event programs, yet scholars have primarily focused on understanding the meaning of and experiences of athletes participating in the focal event. This paper explores a subworld ritual that occurs the day after major triathlon events in Australia. Organized by members of a distinct subworld within the broader social world of triathletes, the Beer Mile is a quasi-devious ritual performed by this subworld to mark the completion of a period of regimentation. The ritual embraces fortitude expressed through demonstrations of physicality, ability to handle alcohol, and boisterousness. We demonstrate how this ritual is a form of calculated hedonism that is both congruent and convergent with traditional endurance sport practices and norms.

Lamont is with the School of Business and Tourism, Southern Cross University, Coolangatta, Queensland, Australia. Fairley is with the School of Business, Faculty of Business, Economics and Law, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Address author correspondence to Matthew Lamont at matthew.lamont@scu.edu.au.
Sociology of Sport Journal
Article Sections
References
  • Allen CollinsonJ. & HockeyJ. (2007). ‘Working out’ identity: Distance runners and the management of disrupted identity. Leisure Studies 26(4) 381398. doi:10.1080/02614360601053384

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • AtkinsonM. (2008). Triathlon, suffering and exciting significance. Leisure Studies 27(2) 165180. doi:10.1080/02614360801902216

  • BaileyC. (2007). A guide to qualitative field research (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press.

  • Beer Mile. (2015). The complete Beermile.com standard Beer Mile ruleset. Retrieved from http://www.beermile.com/rules

    • Export Citation
  • BrakeM. (1985). Comparative youth culture. London, UK: Routledge Kegan Paul.

  • ClaytonB. (2012). Initiate: Constructing the ‘reality’ of male team sport initiation rituals. International Review for the Sociology of Sport Journal 48(2) 204219. doi:10.1177/1012690211432659

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ClaytonB. & HarrisJ. (2008). Our friend Jack: Alcohol, friendship and masculinity in university football. Annals of Leisure Research 11(3/4) 311330. doi:10.1080/11745398.2008.9686800

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ClaytonB. & HumberstoneB. (2006). Men’s talk: A (pro)feminist analysis of male university football players’ discourse. International Review for the Sociology of Sport 41(3–4) 295316. doi:10.1177/1012690207078380

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • CrocketH. (2016). An ethic of indulgence? Alcohol, ultimate Frisbee and calculated hedonism. International Review for the Sociology of Sport 51(5) 617631. doi:10.1177/1012690214543960

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • CrossetT. & BealB. (1997). The use of subculture and subworld in ethnographic works on sport: A discussion of definitional distinctions. Sociology of Sport Journal 14(1) 7385. doi:10.1123/ssj.14.1.73

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • DonnellyP. (1981). Toward a definition of sport subcultures. In M. Hart & S. Birrell (Eds.) Sport and the sociocultural process (pp. 565587). Dubuque, IA: W. C. Brown.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • DonnellyP. & YoungK. (1988). The construction and confirmation of identity in sport subcultures. Sociology of Sport Journal 5223240. doi:10.1123/ssj.5.3.223

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • DurkheimE. (1964). The division of labor in society. New York, NY: Free Press.

  • EdwardsA. & SkinnerJ. (2009). Qualitative research in sport management. Burlington, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann.

  • FairleyS. & GammonS. (2005). Something lived, something learned: Nostalgia’s expanding role in sport tourism. Sport in Society 8(2) 182197. doi:10.1080/17430430500102002

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • FeatherstoneM. (1991). The body in consumer culture. In M. FeatherstoneM. Hepworth & B.S. Turner (Eds.) The body: Social process and cultural theory (pp. 170196). London, UK: Sage.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • FeldmanD.C. (1984). The development and enforcement of group norms. The Academy of Management Review 9(1) 4753.

  • GillhamB. (2000). Case study research methods. London, UK: Continuum.

  • GreenB.C. (2001). Leveraging subculture and identity to promote sport events. Sport Management Review 4119. doi:10.1016/S1441-3523(01)70067-8

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GreenB.C. & ChalipL. (1998). Sport tourism as the celebration of subculture. Annals of Tourism Research 25(2) 275291. doi:10.1016/S0160-7383(97)00073-X

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GreenB.C. & JonesI. (2005). Serious leisure, social identity and sport tourism. Sport in Society 8(2) 164181. doi:10.1080/174304305001102010

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • HammersleyM. & AtkinsonP. (2007). Ethnography: Principles in practice (3rd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Routledge.

  • LamontM. (2014). Authentication in sports tourism. Annals of Tourism Research 45117. doi:10.1016/j.annals.2013.11.003

  • LayderD. (1998). Sociological practice: Linking theory and social research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

  • LeonardW & SchmittR. (1987). Sport-identity as side bet — towards explaining commitment from an interactionist perspective. International Review for the Sociology of Sport 22(4) 249262. doi:10.1177/101269028702200403

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LiM.PittsB. & QuartermanJ. (2008). Research methods in sport management. Morgantown, WV: Fitness Information Technology.

  • MacDonaldK.LamontM. & JenkinsJ. (2017). Ultimate Fighting Championship fans: Foundations of subcultural stratification. Leisure Sciences. doi:10.1080/01490400.2017.1344164

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MarshallC. & RossmanG. (1999). Designing qualitative research (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

  • McCarvilleR. (2007). From a fall in the mall to a run in the sun: One journey to Ironman triathlon. Leisure Sciences 29(2) 159173. doi:10.1080/01490400601160812

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McIntyreJ. (2015). Respect and responsibility? Hetero-masculine drag and Australian football culture. Outskirts: Feminisms along the Edge 33117.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McMillanD.W. (1996). Sense of community. Journal of Community Psychology 24(4) 315325. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1520-6629(199610)24:4<315::AID-JCOP2>3.0.CO;2-T

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McMillanD.W. & ChavisD.M. (1986). Sense of community: A definition and theory. Journal of Community Psychology 14(1) 623. doi:10.1002/1520-6629(198601)14:1<6::AID-JCOP2290140103>3.0.CO;2-I

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MuñizA.M. & O’GuinnT.C. (2001). Brand community. Journal of Consumer Research 27(4) 412432. doi:10.1086/319618

  • NeumanW.L. (2011). Social research methods: Qualitative and quantitative approaches (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.

  • PalmerC. (2011). Key themes and research agendas in the sport-alcohol nexus. Journal of Sport and Social Issues 35(2) 168185. doi:10.1177/0193723511406131

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • PalmerC. & ThompsonK. (2007). The paradoxes of football spectatorship: On-field and online expressions of social capital among the “Grog Squad”. Sociology of Sport Journal 24187205. doi:10.1123/ssj.24.2.187

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • PostmesT.SpearsR. & LeaM. (2000). The formation of group norms in computer-mediated communication. Human Communication Research 26(3) 341371. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2958.2000.tb00761.x

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • RobbinsS.JudgeT.MillettB. & BoyleM. (2011). Organisational behaviour (6th ed.). Frenchs Forest, Australia: Pearson.

  • RobinsonR.PattersonI. & AxelsenM. (2014). The “loneliness of the long-distance runner” no more. Journal of Leisure Research 46(4) 375394. doi:10.1080/00222216.2014.11950333

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • RookD.W. (1985). The ritual dimension of consumer behavior. The Journal of Consumer Research 12(3) 251264. doi:10.1086/208514

  • SchachtS. (1996). Misogyny on and off the “pitch:” The gendered world of male rugby players. Gender and Society 10(5) 550565. doi:10.1177/089124396010005004

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ShawM.E. (1981). Group dynamics: The psychology of small group behaviour (3rd ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

  • ShipwayR.HollowayI. & JonesI. (2012). Organisations, practices, actors, and events: Exploring inside the distance running social world. International Review for the Sociology of Sport 48(3) 259276. doi:10.1177/1012690212442135

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ShipwayR. & JonesI. (2007). Running away from home: Understanding visitor experiences and behaviour at sport tourism events. International Journal of Tourism Research 9373383. doi:10.1002/jtr.641

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ShipwayR.KingK.LeeI.S. & BrownG. (2016). Understanding cycle tourism experiences at the Tour Down Under. Journal of Sport & Tourism 20(1) 2139. doi:10.1080/14775085.2016.1155473

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SilvermanD. (2010). Doing qualitative research (3rd ed.). London, UK: Sage.

  • SzmiginI.GriffinC.MistralW.Bengry-HowellA.WealeL. & HackleyC. (2008). Re-framing ‘binge drinking’ as calculated hedonism: Empirical evidence from the UK. International Journal of Drug Policy 19(5) 359366. PubMed ID: 17981452 doi:10.1016/j.drugpo.2007.08.009

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • UnruhD. (1980). The nature of social worlds. Pacific Sociological Review 23(3) 271296. doi:10.2307/1388823

  • van GennepA. (1960). Rites of passage. Routledge, UK: London and New York.

  • VealA.J. (2011). Research methods for leisure & tourism: A practical guide (4th ed.). Harlow, UK: Pearson Education Limited.

  • WennerL. & JacksonS. (2009). Preface. In L. Wenner & S. Jackson (Eds.) Sport beer and gender: Promotional culture and contemporary social life (pp. viixii). New York, NY: Peter Lang.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • WheatonB. (2000). “Just do it:” Consumption, commitment, and identity in the windsurfing subculture. Sociology of Sport Journal 17(3) 254274. doi:10.1123/ssj.17.3.254

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • YinR. (2003). Case study research: Design and methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

  • YingerJ.M. (1960). Contraculture and subculture. American Sociological Review 25(5) 625635. doi:10.2307/2090136

Article Metrics
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 44 44 6
Full Text Views 8 8 1
PDF Downloads 4 4 1
Altmetric Badge
PubMed
Google Scholar
Cited By