Undertaking long-distance running: thirty years of studies in the sociology of sport in France

Abstract : This article offers a review of the literature on long-distance running, i.e. marathon, ultra-long-distance and trail running, based on French studies in the sociology of sport. The interest of such a synthesis lies, firstly, in its affording better understanding of the continued craze of runners for those running disciplines, which are now major practices on the sports scene; secondly, in its presenting to the sociology of sport in English the premises and theoretical conceptions which in France have examined " the wave which has swept the country " (Segalen, 1991, p. 21). The articles collected on the theme range over a period of thirty years and more, from 1982 to 2015, and were produced by French sociologists of sport. The majority of them have examined the phenomenon through the question of undertaking such sports. Therefore it is the question: " Why do people take up those forms of running? " which is addressed in this synthesis and round which its presentation is organised.
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Sylvain Cubizolles, Bertrand Baron, Eric Lacroix. Undertaking long-distance running: thirty years of studies in the sociology of sport in France. Leisure and society, In press. ⟨hal-01648230⟩

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