This paper presents two meta-autoethnographies written by a former elite swimmer. In the first metaautoethnography, the swimmer revealed doubts in relation to details, emotions and inner-thoughts that she had included in her historical autoethnographic work. As a means of sorting and pondering these tensions and uncertainties, the swimmer explored cultural re-immersion as a possible additional element in the metaautoethnographic process. The second meta-autoethnography centers on the swimmer’s re-immersion into elite swimming culture. It was revealed how cultural re-immersion enabled the swimmer to better reflect on her historical autoethnographic work by providing a more conscientized, rational and reflexive voice. This research highlights how cultural re-immersion should be considered as an additional element in the metaautoethnographic process as it benefits both the author and also audience.
Jenny McMahon and Kerry McGannon
Jenny McMahon, Kerry R. McGannon and Chris Zehntner
Ethnodrama combined with Goffman’s ‘presentation of self’ is used to explore three elite swimmers’ ‘presentation of self’ in relation to the dominant ideology of ‘slim to win’. The ‘presentation of self’ of three swimmers is presented and analyzed according to their front stage (e.g., posting of specific images; direct media quotes) and backstage (e.g., an autoethnographic representation) performances. Goffman’s concepts of expressions ‘given’ and ‘given off’ are used to highlight how the ideology comes to be presented to others and whether the swimmer negotiates and/or contests it. As an analysis and representation, ethnodrama affords the opportunity to reveal the extent an athlete may go to to avoid a failing ‘presentation of self’ in relation to ‘slim to win,’ highlighting potential health effects (e.g., physical, emotional).
Jenny McMahon, Camilla J. Knight and Kerry R. McGannon
Research on abuse in sport reveals that sporting environments are unique contexts where athlete abuse can occur. An international panel on “safe sport” identified the need to implement strategies to ensure sport is safe for all. One strategy identified as a way of preventing abuse from occurring in sport is to educate the parents of athletes. This study centres on an education intervention implemented with 14 parents from a gymnastics and swimming context where narrative pedagogy (e.g., athletes’ stories of abuse) was used. As a result of engaging with narrative pedagogy, parents were able to identify unacceptable coaching practices. However, the extent of several dominant cultural ideologies (e.g., competitive performance ideology) became known through the parents’ responses and influenced the way they took up the athletes’ abuse stories.
Kerry R. McGannon, Lara Pomerleau-Fontaine and Jenny McMahon
Although extreme-sport athletes’ experiences have been explored in sport psychology, more research is needed to understand the nuanced identity meanings for these athletes in the context of health and well-being. A case-study approach grounded in narrative inquiry was used to explore identity meanings of 1 elite extreme-sport athlete (i.e., skyrunner Kilian Jornet) in relation to well-being. Data gleaned from 4 documentary films and 10 autobiographical book chapters describing the Summits of My Life project were subjected to a thematic narrative analysis. Two intersecting narratives—discovery and relational—threaded the summits project and were used by Jornet to construct an “ecocentric” identity intertwined with nature in fluid ways, depending on 3 relationships related to well-being: the death of climbing partner Stéphane Brosse, team members’ shared values, and her relationship with partner Emelie Forsberg. An expansion of identity, health, and well-being research on extreme-sport athletes beyond simplistic portrayals of them as pathological risk takers and/or motivated by personality traits was gained from these findings.