Created By: Chantal, Elisa, Shelby, Brett

The Athletic Self


Identity is a philosophical term relating to sameness and the idea that when two things share similar attributes they are the same. This very basic idea of Identity reveals how individuals can be united by similar identities. This basic idea can be used to understand how different Athletes can share a similar but unique identity. Because of the sameness between the basic underlying embodiments of Athleticism most individuals that identify themselves as Athletes share in what it means to have an Athletic Self identity. Dr. Linda Blade simply defines the athletic identity as a "moment in confidence" but further research demonstrates that it is far more complex. Athletic self as an identity has been theorized from multiple perspectives such as historical, social, and psychological views (Prettyman, 2011). In all three instances it is necessary to understand what an identity is and how an athletic identity is formed, maintained and hindered. The Athletic Self formation can be explained through multiple theories on identity and can be applied both on the level of competition and lifestyle and these can then be analyzed through gendered lens. The existence of an Athletic Identity shapes an individual so deeply that there can often be adverse effects to possessing a damaged identity and this exemplifies how deeply engrained the Athletic Identity is. An athletic identity has been theorized to both support and hinder how an individual recognizes and identifies with one’s self. This athletic identity is not limited to a mere involvement in sport like activities but to a way of life and what it means to become and be an athlete.

Key Terms

Identity, Athlete, Psychology, Competition, Mental Disorders, Sports, Olympics, Paralympics, Disabled, Performance Studies/Theory, Culture, Sociology

Theories Behind Identity For The Athlete

(Shelby: Psychological and sociological theories of identity formation and how they apply to the athlete)

Identity can be theorized through the differing scopes of psychology and sociology (Prettyman, 2011). Both play a major role in understanding the rhetoric surrounding the Athletic Self. This section will progress from the more individualized psychological formation of identity to the social experience of identity formation and how both impact the understanding of identity in creation and maintenance as it applies to the Athletic Self.

First of all the basic concept of identity can be traLacan.jpgced back to early psychological and sociological theory. Such identity theorists as Jacques Lacan (left) and Michel Foucault (bottom right) are key figures in how identity is understood today (Helstein, 2007). A key psychological theory on identity comes from Jacques Lacan (Helstein, 2007). “Lacanian psychoanalysis is rather ruthless in its aggressive challenging that seeks to dismantle the imaginary sense of completeness (as in the Mirror phase) and to remove illusions of self-mastery through a mirror image. A strong ego is seen as defensive deceit and expressing it during analysis is seen as resistance to change. Fear of disintegration and lack drives the person to realize themselves in another imaginary individual (” Here Lacan is focusing in on how people create an ideal self and is driven by their fear to try and reach the idolized image. The idea of the ego stems from Sigmund Freud’s theories on the psyche and how in theory it can be divided into the id, ego and super-ego. Another famous psychologist that assisted Freud was Carl Jung in understanding the .These perspective pertains to how a mind is structured by the conscious, unconscious and subconscious which is integral to self identification within ones psyche. Identity theories focused in psychology are especially relevant to the athlete and how an athlete can idolize a famous athlete or how they may relate to an idealistic self to shape a desired identity around that and their need to fulfill such an identity drives them internally to shape an athletically based identity. On a psychological level an Athletic Identity is formed from these same basic concepts but because Athleticism has been revealed to be highly prone to perfectionism going back to the idea that one attempts to fulfill an ideal self and this perfectionism in bettering ones athletic ability leads to a strong positive association to success which can fill the basic need of identity formation for an individual to get as close as possible to meeting their idolized self (Sagar,2011).

The Athletic Identity is also talked about in accordance to sociology and how identity is created on a social level. Michel Foucault’s sociological discursive view on identity “rejected the view of a person having an inner and fixed 'essence' that is the person's identity. He identified the self as being defined by a continuing discourse in a shifting communication of oneself to others. He also rejected common notions of people having some form of implicit power, replacing this with the idea of power as a technique or action in which people engage. Power is thus exercised but not possessed (” People create their identities through how they not only engage with themselves as seen in the psychological view, but how they engage and are seen by others. It is about representation and how people shapemichel_foucault.jpg their identities based on how they wish to present themselves to others. This mixed with the idea that power is utilized for identity formation but not possessed gives insight into how an Athletic Identity specifically is highly susceptible to social formation as well. For example an athlete often depends on competition either internally or externally to drive or motivate their athletic identity (Sagar, 2011). This means utilizing the technologies an individual has access to to form their identity in such a way that it can be viewed by others as the individual intends. If an Athlete chose to utilize power to better their athletic ability both physically and mentally then they can present themselves to others, such as competitors and viewers, in the way that they think will achieve their being perceived as an Athlete. So both psychologically and socially the idea of identity is formed, not intrinsic and as an athlete the process of becoming an athlete is a process of identity creation by trying to achieve a desired image, whether based on the views of themselves or the views of others the need to reach the kind of Identity Athletes posses from Identity formation is very deeply routed because of how much athleticism takes part in the drives of identity formation.

After Identity is initially formed it must be maintained. On a psychological level an identity is maintained by making minute adjustments and adaptations to the internal discourse between the self and the ego, or ideal self, it is a cycle of back and forth in many respects because the ideal self in theory can never actually be met just strived for ( Theorizing the Athletic Self both in creation and maintenance from a sociological perspective often involves investigating how much society impacts individuals and vice-verse (Coakley, 1999). Identity exists because as individuals we shape ourselves around our expectations of what identity should be and that is often dictated by society (Coakley, 1999). The Athlete perfectly exemplifies this sociological struggle because elements of sports activity often reflect social expectations or structures (Coakley, 1999). On the other hand the Athlete can also impact how new social structures are formed and organized (Coakley, 1999). Furthermore, self and identity from both theoretical views is created and maintained by and within the individual and/or society. Socialization is a key player in everyone's self-hood. For example we are socialized within our culture and that culture impacts how individuals should look, and act according to gender, age, ethnicity etc. Specifically, an athletic identity is characterized or internalized differently for females and males, the young and old, differing ethnicity, etc. This application of sociological elements to identity is very prevalent in the literature addressing the Athlete. The Athlete is often looked at within their social categories and how they impact or reflect those social influences. It is necessary to understand how an individuals mind and social settings can shape how a strong bond between an Athletes embodied activity can become a deeply routed identity that can exist in many forms but is grounded in these same theories and the similar drives the Athleticism produces such as competition, power, and presentation to list a few. Two of the most common outlets for an Athletic Identity is through the more commonly recognized competitive athleticism or through the more internal or individualized choice of Athleticism as a lifestyle which will both be elaborated upon in the following sections as examples of how these theories do strongly apply to Athletes.

Tradition and Competition

Athletes, for many years, had a set mold. They were competitors, and this was the model for the athletic identity. To be an athlete was to be a part of the game against others. One could be part of a competitive team, competing against other teams, or be an individual against all challengers. Competition was the defining entity concerning an athletic identity. Take, for instance, the Olympic games. They are the oldest athletic competition that has participants to this day. Since the beginning of the games, they were seen as the most elite competition for the most talented athletes in the world. The athletes who are fortunate enough to participate identify deeply with the level of competition experienced at said athletic level. For those athletes, their identity was and is Olympic Competitor.

The competitive identity has a rich tradition. It is the original cause of sport. There has, since the beginning of sport, been a winner, loser, or placements. It is the definition of sport, to have victory and failure. It is present in every game. Many people ask why one would play a game if not to win. It is the tradition of sport to seek victory, and many athletes identify with the pursuit. To this day, it is the basis of most sport. Even when not competing for prize, there is a victor. Until recently, this was the case; Athletes were competitors. Take any athlete today, and their competitive exploits will exemplify their involvement in the sport. Lebron James is often referred to as “King James,” alluding to his gifts as an athlete and skill as a basketball player. Jesse Owens, while being a figure of race, was an athlete first. Not only an athlete, he was the greatest sprinter ever at that juncture.(Jesse Owens: Biography) It is evident that these exploits and reputations have served as integral factors in erecting athletes’ identity.
While competition against separate forces is a prominent and evident source of identity, there has been a branching of motives pushing one’s athletic self. No longer is it a necessity to be competing against others to be an athlete. Self-competition is now a large contributor to the athletic community (Bailey 67). Improvement for ones self can be a very large portion of motivation for participation in athletics. In recent years, the definition of the Athlete has evolved from the previous competitors mold. While that form of athletic identity is still very much in existence, the athletic identity as a whole has broadened to include many other forms, including recreational, artistic, alternative and many more, all of which involve an internal drive to participate through mediums separate from competition.

The recreational athlete is one who chooses to participate solely for the fun of the activity and beneficial health attributes. They include themselves in athletic activity for their own benefit. They do not seek victories, and they may never actually engage in real competition. This recreational participant broadens the definition of sport as well, leading it to include outdoor and non-traditional games. There are now athletes who never compete, but strive to express art through athletic participation and performance. Dancers are a prime illustration of a new definition of athletic identity. They use athletic ability and skill to portray emotion and story. This involvement is a pure form of athleticism, yet does not directly tie to the traditional form of sport in competition. As sport and athleticism continues to change, Athletic identity changes with it. Athletic identity is no longer an exclusive form, but encompasses many aspects. One's preference and lifestyle determines there identity, Athletic aspects included.


Aside from competition based athletics, there are also identities formed from hobbies and voluntary activities. For example, there are far more people who refer to surfing as their lifestyle rather than those who do it competitively. Surfing is an extreme sport. However, since it is much of an individual sport, people associate it as their lifestyle. Surfing has strong a culture which influences the surfing lifestyle. "I am a surfer" is a common response instead of "I surf." When athletes play for sports teams, their identity can be related to that specific team. They turn into a "Buff" or a "San Diego Charger". These identities can be molded into what that certain team wants to show. Whereas, when it is an individual sport/activity, it becomes more of a personally induced identity.

Within an activity, such as surfing, there are individuals who consider themselves athletes and those who do not. It seems as though a lot of athletic identities are rooted from a sport being contest based or not. Surfing is an outdoor/action sport, meaning that it requires strenuous amounts of physical ability. However, some people surf out of passion and look at it as their leisure activity/lifestyle; while others surf competitively and even make it their profession—which allows them to view surfing as their athletic identity. This concept can be witnessed in all forms of sport. No one person is the on the same level as another when concerning an athletic identity.


There are many factors that are involved in the creation of an athletic identity. As mentioned above, competition, hobby, and lifestyle-based activities can have an affect. However, gender is one that has an impact on all of them. There are females and males who participate in competitive and non-competitive based sports. Within our society, there are many notions that steam from gender. Many sports are gender dominated.

For example, dance used to be perceived as a female dominated activity. It was not even considered a sport or “athletic." Only recently males have become a part of dance. Only once males made a name for themselves in the dance world, it was labeled "athletic". Another reason dance is now viewed as a sport comes from the media's exploitation of the extreme athleticism involved in dance. They do this through television shows, movies, recorded contests, youtube, etc.

On the contrary, there are sports that appear to be "off-limits" to females. Football is a sport where there is almost no female participation. At high school levels and above, it is purely all males. Furthermore, basketball is also a male-dominated sport. However, there are women's basketball leagues all the way up to the professional level. Although many women play, there are certain connotations and labels often attached to these female basketball players. Women basketball players are labeled "masculine", which has an affect on their identity.

Over the years, there has been an increasing rate of respect for women in the athletic word. Not only has there been huge evolutionary changes throughout history, there is now an issue with how athletic identity pertains to such events as the Olympics. Sexual gender identity within the athletic self has been challenged and is changing, but within an individuals lifetime ( As demonstrated by Dr.Linda Blade in the video below , children are socially inclined/encouraged to partake in creating an athletic identity because of the social values it is believed to support. As a child , the identity is constantly changing and shifting , focusing in on ideals such as the iconic presentation of the athlete. Because of this the individual can easily evolve into an athletic identity because of how society has instilled and accepted sports. This also allows for an individual to focus their identity around an idealized identity such as a famous athlete which many societies support and celebrate as icons.

Damaged Athletic Identity

The psychology of the human mind is complicated and studies surrounding it are young and vast. Psychology is the science of mind and behavior and the immediate goal is to understand the behavior and mental processes by examining specific cases. The psychology of athletes encompasses the topics discussed above, an athlete is motivated by the tradition of the sport in order to want to participate in the activity, he is motivated by the lifestyle, and if he competes then he is motivated by the aspect of competing against others. Depending upon the sport, gender can motivate what sport is chosen. An athlete can become so engrossed within their sport that they begin to reject other aspects of their life and shape their life around the sport. However what happens when illness, injury, or life’s disappointments take away those individuals abilities to play their sport?
The psychology of theories surrounding the athletic self tend to focus on the positive and negative aspects of possessing an athletic identity. In some instances it is theorized that by establishing an athletic self, one is able to better establish themselves within a society by shaping into the norms of an organized social situation (Prettyman, 2011). In other cases it is theorized as an exceptionally dangerous identity to possess because it is prone to fragmenting an individual because of physical and psychological needs that can go unmet because of injury or illness, or any other aspect of the athletic lifestyle (Sparks, 1998). The athletic identity is strong because it feeds into the physiological and psychological persona, but with that it is also dangerous to an individual who can no longer fulfill the needs of an athletic identity. As with any field of study, there is always the question of what may be considered as a participant.
The participant is obviously the person engaged in their certain sport. But, one who plays traditional sport may not see dance or underground sports as real athletic displays, and would fail to identify with another person's athletic identity. However, the athletic identity is not exclusive in any way, and is not singular in its description. There are discrepancies between males and females, cultures, and sports. In 1993, the Athletic Identity measurement scale was created by Brewer, Van Raalte, and Linder, and was tested among college students, both athletes and non-athletes. Interestingly, of the three studies they found males to possess a higher athletic identity than females, possibly in part because American society places a higher emphasis upon male sports. They believed that due to the early age at which boys begin to be socialized into the athletic role rather than females that this possibly explained the results (Williams, 1997). Another test using the AIMS test determined that those that played at the elite level identified more with the athletic identity than just recreational participants as well as those that do not participate at all (Lamont-Mills, 2006). These tests are not all-inclusive however, as every individual is different and has different histories.
As with any form of measurement or rectification, these tests demonstrate how people have tried to define and describe athletic identity but this is problematic because in the same way that all sports are not the same, people are not the same. Different people carry with them different impressions of self based on their own experiences and participatory status. Often times, competition can drive an athlete completely. It is all they live for and contributes significantly to their sense of self. There are many athletes, however, that do not seek fierce competition but are equally as driven for self improvement and the challenge of the physicality of sport in itself. Unconventional athletes will associate their identity with grouping, and participation in a given activity. They seek acceptance by their peers and progression for their sport. The athletic identity is an all-encompassing concept. It accepts all who can be involved with sport in competition, recreation, or a way of life. While it is all-encompassing, people react differently to the loss of their identity.
According to the International Olympic Committee, individuals with this strong identity experience greater difficulties adjusting to life after their sport, need more time adjusting emotionally and socially and are at risk for using in-effective coping strategies. In order to combat this individuals can pursue careers in their sport such as coaches or aids, discover different interests, acquire stress management skills, begin preparing for another career before their sports career is over, and nurture relationships with others for support as well as future contact reference. These steps can aid an athlete in detaching from their athletic identity.
Many retired athletes will go on to become coaches, commentators, or participants in master's levels competitions. The cause for this may be partially due to the fact that they love their sport and wish to remain connected. However, that association is still feeding into their athletic identity. They identify their self enough with sport to pursue a continuing connection, demonstrating the power that is the athletic identity. Or that individual may in some cases, lose everything they thought they knew about themselves. They were a “runner” or “football player,” this is what they were; now in their eyes, they are “nothing.” Through counseling or just reconnecting with themselves can they rediscover who they truly are and begin to uncover their real identity, the one the athlete cast aside long ago. An athlete could have already had a strong sense of self identity and being an athlete merely defined an aspect of their personality, it did not become them. This athlete can usually move onto another avenue of life and pursue other goals.


As seen from the beginning, the aspect of identity can be theorized through psychology and sociology. Major players in the definition of identity included Jacques Lacan and Michel Foucault, with Lacan believing a strong ego creates fear and thus the desire to produce an imaginary individual or false self. This ego stems from Freud and Carl Jung and their identity theories. From a persons need for an identity stems the creation of the athletic identity. This identity of self can be pronounced by various factors, one being socialization, which is how individuals are raised to look at others, to act, dress etc. The athletic identity is not a new identity only being discovered in the twentieth century, it has been around for as long as athletics have been practiced.
The thrill of competition has attracted individuals for centuries. For instance, the Olympic games in Greece, where only the elites competed and those individuals identified deeply with this and this was who they were. This identity has a rich tradition, victory and failure were the only outcomes and the pursuit for victory drove others to compete. Whether an individual chooses to compete against others in a sport or against themselves to achieve faster times or greater feats, it comes back to the roots of the tradition of what makes up athletics. However, competition and tradition are not the only motivators of the creation of an athletic identity.
Gender plays a role in the motivation of where one places his or her identity. Sports are gender dominated, yes, men and women compete in the same sports, but usually there is a majority of one sex within a certain sport. The example used was that of dancers. Originally perceived as a feminine activity, not even a sport, but once men began to integrate within the dance culture it took on an athletic appeal and name. Football is also a sport that is male dominated, as well as basketball. Women are not usually looked upon as kindly within these sports, however an increasing rate of respect for women participating in sports has occurred throughout the world. Because the athletic identity has consumed out culture, the athletic identity has become sought after and idealized, even worshipped by some. This dysfunctional, extreme identity can lead to psychological issues of those who lose it, whether because of injury or other upsets.
When ones sole identity is in a sport, they lose sight of who they are as an individual as a whole. When this identity has been invested in for a persons whole life, then taken away, it can lead to great psychological upset. This individual will not know what to do with themselves or their time because sadly, they created their own skewed athletic identity, the degree to which that person identified as being an athlete.

Important Figures and Texts

  • Oscar Pistorious
  • Jesse Owens
  • Jacques Lacan
  • Michel Foucault
  • George Ritzer
  • Gershon Tenenbaum
  • Jack Lalanne
  • Erik Erikson
  • Jesse Owens
  • Oscar Pistorius

Suggested Sites to Visit for more on The Athletic Identity



Annotated Bibliography

1. Ashford, Kelly J., and Robin C. Jackson. "Priming as a Means of Preventing Skill Failure Under Pressure." Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology 32.5 (2010): 518-536. SPORTDiscus with Full Text. EBSCO. Web. 1 Feb. 2011.
--This study was meant to look at how to alleviate skill failure during times of stress. Two experiments were conducted. The first experiment was of 34 field-hockey players performing different tasks with varying levels of difficulty and stress. The second experiment consisted of the same players performing the same tasks but this in a positive, neutral or negative environment. The results showed that in an environment that was postive or neutral the performance of the players was high but in the negative group the times were significantly slower.

2. Bailey, Steve. (2008). Athlete First-History of the paralympic movement. West Sussex, England: John Wiley & Sons,Ltd.
--The text investigates paralympic athletes and their struggle as athletes, not as people with disability. Their sport is simply different, no less and no more. They are athletes before they are disabled in their own eyes, and that is how they live their lives.

3. Buchanon, Ian; Mallon, Bill (2006). __//Historical Dictionary of the Olympic Movement//__. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press. 8. Carole A. Oglesby. Philosophical Bases of Women in Sport. 1980
--The text involves how the Olympics have evolved from the standpoint of the pursuit of Olympic success by people in many opposing situations.

5. Coakley, J., Donnelly, P. Inside Sports. Routledge. New York, NY. 1999. Retrieved from on 1/31/11: __
--This compilation of twenty two stories by individuals involved in sports allows for a sociological analysis of sports impact on social life. The individuals wrote pieces about how they experienced sports and how it affected their lives. The overall theme reflects how sports can shape how an individual interacts with others within society because of the expectations and organization of sports activity.

6. Collinson, Jacquelyn Allen, and John Hockey. "'Working Out' Identity: Distance Runners and the Management of Disrupted Identity." Leisure Studies 26.4 (2007): 381-398. SPORTDiscus with Full Text. EBSCO. Web. 1 Feb. 2011.
--This article analyzes the impact of long-term injury on the identities of two amateur but serious long distance runners. It looks at the role of identity in focus of the injury and rehabilitation, which seems to be seriously affected. This identity was crucial in aiding the athlete to want to recover and return to his sport of running for leisure.

7. De Oca, Jeffrey Montez. "Foucault, Sport and Exercise: Power, Knowledge and Transforming the Self." Sociology of Sport Journal 25.2 (2008): 283-284. SPORTDiscus with Full Text. EBSCO. Web. 1 Feb. 2011.
--This article examines many of the argument made by Foucault and looks primarily at the sociology that occurs in sports. One article discusses how woman entering a male dominated sport can lead men to anger and backlash.

8. Downey, G. ‘Practice without theory’: a neuroanthropological perspective on embodied learning. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Vol.16, pS22-S40. 2010. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier on 1/31/11: __

--This article looks at sports training and how it is an imitation that then shapes an embodied knowledge. But the article too argues how it goes beyond a basic knowledge set to changes on the physiological, psychological and neurological levels.

9. Duquin, M., E. The Body Snatchers and Dr.Frankenstein Revisited: Social Construction and Destruction of Body and sports.Journal of Sport & Social Issues, Vol. 18 Issue 3, p268-281. 1994. Retrieved from Academic Search Premiere on 1/31/11: __

--This article calls for body awareness. People cannot merely focus in on the body in a performance matter. With this it is important to look at how successful promoting sports are and how athletic activity impacts the body in regards to injury. If this can be done then a new approach to sports and the athletic self can be achieved to help avoid the negative impacts of sports.

10. Findling, John E.; Pelle, Kimberly D. (2004). __//Encyclopedia of the Modern Olympic Movement//__. Westport CT.: Greenwood Press.
--The text documents the The Olympics and the political frustrations that arise from its athletic components. There are political, drug, and personal struggles that come from the occupation of elite athlete.

11. Fletcher, David, and Michael Scott. "Psychological stress in sports coaches: A review of concepts, research, and practice." Journal of Sports Sciences 28.2 (2010): 127-137. SPORTDiscus with Full Text. EBSCO. Web. 1 Feb. 2011.
--This article addresses the increase of psychological stress upon sport coaches and the implications of the rise in stress. Too much stress will affect the coach's job and ultimately the athletes and the impact of this upon them.

12. Frank C. Bakker, et al. "Thoughts and attention of athletes under pressure: skill-focus or performance worries?." Anxiety, Stress & Coping 24.1 (2011): 59-73. SPORTDiscus with Full Text. EBSCO. Web. 1 Feb. 2011.
--Choking under pressure in sport has been explained by either explicit attention to skill execution or attention to performance worries. This article dives into the stress of choking during an athletic event and what most people choked on. The article found that among elite athletes that most athletes choked due to stress about performance and the pressure to perform good rather than worrying about skill execution. This can be applied to other areas of life besides just athletics.

13. Gilbert, Keith; Schantz, Otto J. (2008). __//The Paralympic Games:Empowerment of Side Show?//__. New York, United States: Meyer and Meyer Ltd.
--The Paralympic games seem like a side show to the real Olympics. The text argues that this viewpoint had an advantage of gaining attention in such a way, that it showed the world the real athleticism involved.

14. Golden, Mark (2009). "Helpers, Horses, and Heroes". Greek Sport and Social Status. University of Texas Press.

15. Hanold, Maylon T. "Beyond the Marathon: (De)Construction of Female Ultrarunning Bodies." Sociology of Sport 27.2 (2010): 160-77. Print.
--This article examines the ways in which a females ultrarunning body is created and the typical "ideal" body. This article shows how this ultrarunning body becomes the desired body even outside of the marathon and how this ideal is pursued through discipline and belief that this is a "norm."

16. Helstein, M., T. Seeing Your Sporting Body: Identity, Subjectivity, and Misrecognition. Sociology of Sport Journal, Vol 24 Issue 1, p78-103. 2007. Retrieved from Academic Search Premiere on 1/31/11: [[__ --Thiarticle|__]]
--This article utilizes early theory about identity from such known figures as Michel Foucault and Jacques Lacan. Foucault utilizes a discursive account of identity creation while Lacan utilizes a psychoanalytical view on identity creation. By looking at these identity philosophies of recognition one can look at how a woman in sports for example creates an identity and mis-recognizes that identity creating fragmentation that can still possess meaning for the subject.

17. Hickey, C., Pringle, R. Negotiating Masculinities via the Moral Problematization of Sport. Sociology of Sport Journal, Vol.27 Issue 2, p115-138. 2010. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier on 1/31/11: __

--This piece looks at the masculine athletic identity and how it is shaped and negotiated. With analyzing the masculine individual athletic identity a social perspective emerges such as the sexualization of women and the sport culture the identity belongs too; with this too a sacrifice by the masculine subject is made on moral levels to achieve the athletic identity. This moral compromise to achieve the masculine sport identity is problematized by this piece.

18. Houle, James L. W., Britton W. Brewer, and Annette S. Kluck. "Developmental Trends in Athletic Identity: A Two-Part Retrospective Study." Journal of Sport Behavior 33.2 (2010): 146-159. SPORTDiscus with Full Text. EBSCO. Web. 1 Feb. 2011.
--Early childhood is a critical period for identity development. This article tested a group of athletes at ages 10, 15, and their current age. They found that individuals continued to see a rise in their identity as an athlete unless they stopped their participation in sports.

19. Howe, P. David (2008). __//The cultural politics of the paralympic movement//__. New York, United States: Routledge.
--Many are unwilling to accept the paralympic athletes as real athletic entities. The text documents the struggles of handicapped pursuing recognition.

20. Hundley, Heather L., and Andrew C. Billings. Examining Identity in Sports Media. Los Angeles: Sage Publications, 2010. Print
--This article discusses how our identities that the media creates can have a huge impact on our performances.

21. Ingram, A. Dance and Sport. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, Vol. 13, p85-97. 1978. Retrieved from Google Scholar on 1/31/11: __
--This article was based around a study the surveyed modern dancers. This survey asked questions about involvement to gage characteristics associated to the sport of dance. The fact that only one dance sub-group was surveyed is problematic for the study but it is intended to demonstrate how differing participants to differing sports hold differing and similar characteristics.

22. Jacqueline Wolfs, et al. "The Attitude–Behavior Relationship in Consumer Conduct: The Role of Norms, Past Behavior, and Self-Identity." Journal of Social Psychology 148.3 (2008): 311-334. SPORTDiscus with Full Text. EBSCO. Web. 1 Feb. 2011.
--This article is about the relationship between consumerism and identity. The author argues that what people consume is directly related to what they associate with their personal identity. But what does this have to do with athletics? Many athletes will buy things and spend their money on what they personally define as their identity.

23. Jahiel, René I., and Marcia J. Scherer. "Initial steps towards a theory and praxis of person–environment interaction in disability." Disability & Rehabilitation 32.17 (2010): 1467-1474. SPORTDiscus with Full Text. EBSCO. Web. 1 Feb. 2011.
--This article looks at the concept of person-environment interaction in regards to individuals with disabilities. They first looked at the identities that the person assumed over time and the environment (such as who they interacted with) and studied this. Researchers hope to build a theory of person-environment interaction that is compatible with other individuals differences.

24. Jeffries, Cindy A. Breaking Down Gender Stereotypes: Increasing 5th Grade Physical Education Participation by Building Self Esteem. Chicago, Illinois. 2009
--This article evaluates 3 studies which looked at identity. In the first study the researchers looked at overall identity, identity synthesis and identity confusion. The second study the overall identity status was dependent upon identity status. The third study they found identity to be constructed upon self-esteem, purpose in life, ego, and strength. Increasing self esteem in young children will help boost the amount that they participate in.

25. __"Jesse Owens: Track & Field Legend: Biography"__. Archived from __the original__ on December 23, 2007.
--Jesse Owens, one of the all time greats, struggled mightily in a racist era. His identity as an Athlete helped him overcome the hurdles and be victorious.

26. Knight, Tom (11 July 2007]), __"Pistorius is no novelty sprinter"__, __//The Daily Telegraph//__ (Sport): S12.
--Pistorius competes with world class sprinters, though he is disabled. He is not entertainment, but a threat to win.

27. Koutedakis, Y., Jamurtas, A. The Dancer as a Performing Athlete: Physiological Considerations. Sports Medicine, Vol.34 Issue 10, p651-661. 2004. Retrieved from Academic Search Premiere on 1/31/11: __
--This article focuses on how especially current practices of dance demand just as much physical training of an athlete as skill set. With this similar embodiment between the athlete and the dancer there exist similar views, perspectives and values. But because of differing gender there can be a shift in nutritional habits because of the newly instilled need to fulfill the athletic view.

28. Lacey Rose, __//The Single Greatest Athletic Achievement//__ November 18, 2006 published in
--The text documents Jesse Owens' rise in a world that didn't recognize him.

29. Lander, Linda and Carol L. Durentini. Gender Differences in the Sport Socialization Process of High School Varsity Athletes. Distributed by ERIC Clearinghouse, 1987.
--Using high school varsity athletes as the focus, Lander discusses how sports socialize students and compares genders.

30. Lepecki, A. Of the Presence of the Body. Wesleyan University Press; Middletown, CT, 2004. Retrieved from 1/31/11: __
--This anthology looks at nine essays that focus around Dance. The writings relate dance to reflecting social practices while renewing body presence theories. These essays are interdisciplinary and look at body and the presence of body in dance through multiple lenses. The conscious inclusion of presence of body in dance choreography was not a classical western concept but today it is ever present.
This study looked at the behaviors of social agents in specializing sport participants. They found coaches and parents influence was related to their typical roles: instruction and support, and peers influenced motivation through competitive behaviors and social relationships.

31. Longman, Jeré (15 May 2007), __"An amputee sprinter: Is he disabled or too-abled?"__, __//The New York Times//__: A1 & A21.
--The text discusses the difficulties in grouping a handicapped sprinter with the other great sprinters of his time.

32. Loy, John W. and Jay Coakley—Sport (Ritzer, George (ed). Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology. Blackwell Publishing, 2007. Blackwell Reference Online. 31 January 2011 <__>)
--Sport is a social institution within itself. It is so complex yet it takes up a lot of our lives and culture. Sports are embodied, structured, goal oriented, competitive, contest based, and ludic. There also is an infinite number of sports offered worldwide. The diversity of sports is what creates a lot of different cultural aspects. These sports take transformation throughout time which can lead to changes in history.

33. Mansfield, Louise—Sport and Gender. (Ritzer, George (ed). Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology. Blackwell Publishing, 2007. Blackwell Reference Online. 31 January 2011 <__>)
--This looks at the socially constructed differences between men and women and how they effect sports. It also examines what societal impacts have changed the gender identities within sports.

34. Malesevic, Sinisa 2010 Sociology of War and Violence, Cambridge University Press.
--There are social implications behind the causes of war, and similarly in sport.

35. Markula, Pirkko—Sport and the Body. . (Ritzer, George (ed). Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology. Blackwell Publishing, 2007. Blackwell Reference Online. 31 January 2011 <__>)
--Only recently has the lens of sports and the body been sociology. The sporting body is socially constructed. There are two different ways that sociologist research this topic: textual readings of seeing how the female or male body is presented in the media and secondly, hearing about the actual embodied experience from the athlete.

36. Melnyk, Andrew (2003). __"A Physicalist Manifesto: Thoroughly Modern Materialism (Cambridge Studies in Philosophy)"__. Cambridge.

37. Miller, Kathleen E., and Joseph H. Hoffman. "Mental Well-Being and Sport-Related Identities in College Students." Sociology of Sport Journal 26.2 (2009): 335-356. SPORTDiscus with Full Text. EBSCO. Web. 1 Feb. 2011. __
--This article delves into how past research has linked physical activity to lower risk for depression, and mental and social well-being. This study examined the relationship between athletes on teams and the "athlete identity" helped lower the risk for depression as well as suicide, however, the jock identity was associated with higher risks for depression and suicide. The findings were discussed in light of the relationship between mental well being and identity.

38. Ness, S. A. Bali, and Camera, and Dance: Preformance Studies and the Lost Legacy of the Mead/Bateson Collaberation. Journal of Asian Studies, Vol.67 Issue 4, p1251-1276. November 2008. Retrieved from Academic Search Premiere on 1/26/11: __
--This anthropological look at a Bali culture observed by the famous Margret Mead makes in argument for established performance in differing cultures. There use of film allowed for an up close and personal record of the performance and body theory they were studying.

39. Njus, David, and Dan R. Johnson. "Need for Cognition as a Predictor of Psychosocial Identity Development." Journal of Psychology 142.6 (2008): 645-655. SPORTDiscus with Full Text.
--Researchers examined the hypothesis that identity development is related to need for cognition such as the desire to engage in effortless thinking. They found that individuals with higher psychosocial identity levels had higher needs for cognition. The results provided support for the importance of development of a unique identity.

40. Porterfield, Jason (2008). __//Doping:Athletes and Drugs//__. New York: Rosen Publishing Group Inc.
--This text discusses how often times people associate their lives so tightly with athletic success, that they are willing to cheat to achieve their goals.

41. Potrac, Paul, and Robyn. L. Jones. "Micropolitical Workings in Semi-Professional Football." Sociology of Sport Journal 26.4 (2009): 557-577. SPORTDiscus with Full Text. EBSCO. Web. 1 Feb. 2011.
--This article looked at the micropolitical strategies used to persuade players and coaches into using a certain set of methods.

42. Prettyman, S. Learning Culture through Sports: Perspective on Society and Organized Sports. Rowman and littlefield Publishers, Inc. 2011.
--This book talks about how important it is to examine sports critically as a significant impacting force in our lives and our society. Three ways to critically examine sports in society is by taking a historical, social and/or psychological perspective. By using these three perspectives assumptions about sports and society can be looked at to see if such assumptions have remained true historically, are present on an intercultural level, and how individuals respond to such assumptions.

43. Sagar, Sam S., and Joachim Stoeber. "Perfectionism, Fear of Failure, and Affective Responses to Success and Failure: The Central Role of Fear of Experiencing Shame and Embarrassment." Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology 31.5 (2009): 602-627. SPORTDiscus with Full Text. EBSCO. Web. 1 Feb. 2011.
--This study looked at how aspects of perfectionism related to the fear of failure in athletes and how this predicted success and failure affected their sport competitions. Those athletes that illustrated perfectionism showed a negative relationship with fear and shame with failure and a positive affect after success. However, the perfectionist's relationship with the coach was damaged due to fear of failure.

45. Sparkes, A. Athletic Identity: An Achilles’ Heel to the Survival of Self. School of Postgraduate Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of Exeter. Devon, U.K. 1998. Retrieved from Google Scholar on 1/31/11: __
--By looking at a biographical account of an athlete’s life impacted by illness this article reveals how the athletic identity can be problematic outside of the athletic life. The self consists of differing aspects and an athletic portion of one’s self incurs a certain amount of force that when lost or unmet can fracture an individual’s self identity. The fracturing of an athletic identity thwarted by such changes as illness can drive the individual to try and regain that aspect of their identity further problematizing the individuals self identification.

47. Stevenson, Chris. "Identity, Sport and." Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology. Ritzer, George (ed). Blackwell Publishing, 2007. Blackwell Reference Online. 01 February 2011 __
--Identity has various degrees and did not originate in sociology but spans a multitude of studies.

48. Stoljar, Daniel (2001). __"Physicalism"__. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford University.
--Documents the need of physicality, and its relation to sport.

49. __"Super Bowl dethrones 'M*A*S*H,' sets all-time record"__. The Live Feed. February 8, 2010.
--Shows the power and appeal of sport to many.

50. Taylor, D. Remapping Genre through Performance: From “American” to “Hemispheric” Studies. PMLA: Publications of the Modern Language Association of America, Vol.122 Issue 5, p1416-1430. 2007. Retrieved from Academic Search Premiere on 1 /31/11: __
--This piece talks on performance arts such as dance and how there genres can be mapped out and understood by breaking down the components. Most genres possess patterns that establish it as a genre and performance is no different. But even within performance art there exists separate genres from dance to theatre because of their mapped out genre qualities.

51. Tenenbaum, Gershon, and Robert C. Eklund. Handbook of Sport Psychology. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2007. Print.
--Goes into the psychology behind athletes. It is about relating psychology to sports. Sports are very psychological in the sense that we can control a lot of our performance through this field of science.

52. Theberge, Nancy. "Just a Normal Bad Part of What I Do": Elite Athletes' Accounts of the Relationship Between Health and Sport." Sociology of Sport Journal 25.2 (2008): 206-222. SPORTDiscus with Full Text. EBSCO. Web. 1 Feb. 2011.
--This article examines the relationship between sport participation and health. Respondents accounts of efforts to manage the threats to their health that are posed by their sporting activity frequently convey a disembodied notion of the athletic body as an object to be managed.

53. Theys, E., M. Leveling the Playing Field. Dance Magazine, Vol. 84 Issue 12, p48-52. 2010. Retrieved from Academic Search Premiere on 1/31/11: __
--This article looks at how dance a sport relate and share many similarities. By looking at smaller aspects and movement quality of each there is obvious overlap and shared technique. With this relation being elaborated upon the medical care and treatment of athletes and dancers can overlap expanding the care of both.

54. Thomas, H. The Body, Dance and Culture Theory. Palgrave Macmillan. New York, NY. 2003. Retrieved from on 1/31/11: __
--This book talks about how the body is often utilized and analyzed in relation to culture and society and dance is no exception. By looking at different case studies of dance the body can be analyzed from a scholarly point of view to establish how dance relates socially and culturally. This book takes on a more scientific analytical approach mixed with a critical eye to evaluate the body in dance and therefore culture a society.

55. Tomlinson, Alan (2005). __//Sport and leisure cultures//__. Minneapolis MN: University of Minnesota Press.
--The text examines sports in multiple contexts of locality. Local, national, and international. The comparisons are based on history and the cultural connotations that vary. The sociology of sport can be very helpful in understanding foreign cultures.

56. Turner, Bryan S.—Body and Cultural Sociology--> (Ritzer, George (ed). Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology. Blackwell Publishing, 2007. Blackwell Reference Online. 31 January 2011 <__>)
--This article looks at how the body is seen in different cultures. It focuses on the construction of these views and more specifically the embodied performances we have on a daily basis.

57. Vettenniemi, Erkki. "Fastest, Highest, Strongest. A Critique of High-Performance Sport." Sociology of Sport Journal 24.4 (2007): 500-502. SPORTDiscus with Full Text. EBSCO. Web. 1 Feb. 2011.
--This was a critique of high-performance sports and the relationship of the athletes to their sport.

58. Warriner, Katie, and David Lavallee. "The Retirement Experiences of Elite Female Gymnasts: Self Identity and the Physical Self." Journal of Applied Sport Psychology 20.3 (2008): 301-317. SPORTDiscus with Full Text. EBSCO. Web. 1 Feb. 2011.
--This study explored the experiences of retirment of elite female gymnasts. It looked at the identity which was created by these women when they were little girls and how difficult it was to get over their identity and to create an utterly new one at such a late age.

59. Woods, Ron (2007). __//Social Issues in Sport//__. Champaign IL: Human Kinetics.
--Sport is prevalent in everyday life for many. Thus, there are many aspects to sport, not just the physical action of participation. Coaching, disabilities, training and many other aspects must be taken into consideration when considering sport in today's culture. The text can be used to gain an understanding of the athletic self from the view of the participant, elite, and spectator. Foucault and Identity. Retrieved from on 2/7/11: __
--This article is about Michel Foucault’s theories on identity. The main idea is that identity is not something you are born with but is formed. This formation of identity is constantly changing over time and utilizes power as a tool but not a goal. Lacanian Psychoanalysis. Retrieved from on 2/7/11: __
--This article is about Jacques Lacan who developed the identity theory of the mirror stage. People are constantly forming new identities based around a goal identity but this ideal identity is constantly shifting. This creates an identity drive for an individual.

62.Glintmeyer, N.,Jones, R., & Mckenzie, A. Slim Bodies, Eating Disorders and The Coach- Athlete Relationship: A Tale of Identity Creation and Disruption. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, Vol. 40 Issue 3, p377-391. 2005. Retrieved from Academic Search Premiere on 1/31/11: __
--This piece looks at Ann, a swimmer whose career was ended due to an eating disorder. By looking at this case study the article tries to demonstrate the dangerous of the self disciplined perspective that allows for the development of such eating disorders. Also the coach-athlete relationship is looked at for how it may influence or could be used to dissuade eating disorders in athletes.

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