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Stories as actors causing trouble in lives: a dialogical narrative analysis of a competitive cyclist and the fall from grace of Lance Armstrong.

Sparkes, A.C. and Stewart, C., 2019. Stories as actors causing trouble in lives: a dialogical narrative analysis of a competitive cyclist and the fall from grace of Lance Armstrong. Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise, 11 (4), 460-477.

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DOI: 10.1080/2159676X.2019.1578253

Abstract

This article examines how stories as actors can cause trouble in lives by focusing on the reactions of a competitive cyclist, named David, to the public confession by Lance Armstrong of being a drug cheat and a bully. We begin by providing a context for this trouble by considering the affective dynamics of fandom and the part this plays in the social construction of sporting heroes by self and others as part of an interactive process. Next, we examine the ways in which David’s narrative habitus draws him towards Armstrong’s heroic story as a gift that leads him to develop a strong athletic identity as a competitive cyclist and also become a committed fan that continually denies evidence regarding the behaviours of his hero. Following this, we focus on David’s emotional reactions to Armstrong’s betrayal and the identity management strategies he uses to disassociate himself from his disgraced hero. The role that material biographical objects perform in this process and the affective dilemmas they pose for David over time are highlighted. Attention is then given to issues of tellability and narrative silence regarding Armstrong’s story and their impact on David’s family and the wider cycling community. In closing, we offer some reflections on the ways that David’s story is shaped by the performative demands of specific kinds of masculinities prior to considering the narrative consequences of demonising Armstrong and making him the finalised villain of the piece.

Item Type:Article
ISSN:1939-8441
Uncontrolled Keywords:stories; trouble; fandom; affect; heroes; betrayal; biographical objects; tellability; masculinities
Group:Faculty of Management
ID Code:33620
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:05 Mar 2020 15:59
Last Modified:18 Aug 2020 01:08

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