The search for freedom in extreme sports : a phenomenological exploration

Brymer, Eric & Schweitzer, Robert (2013) The search for freedom in extreme sports : a phenomenological exploration. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 16(4), pp. 865-873.

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Participation in extreme sports is continuing to grow, yet there is still little understanding of participant motivations in such sports. The purpose of this paper is to report on one aspect of motivation in extreme sports, the search for freedom. The study utilized a hermeneutic phenomenological methodology. Fifteen international extreme sport participants who participated in sports such as BASE jumping, big wave surfing, extreme mountaineering, extreme skiing, rope free climbing and waterfall kayaking were interviewed about their experience of participating in an extreme sport. Results reveal six elements of freedom: freedom from constraints, freedom as movement, freedom as letting go of the need for control, freedom as the release of fear, freedom as being at one, and finally freedom as choice and responsibility. The findings reveal that motivations in extreme sport do not simply mirror traditional images of risk taking and adrenaline and that motivations in extreme sports also include an exploration of the ways in which humans seek fundamental human values.

Impact and interest:

10 citations in Scopus
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6 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 62296
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: extreme sport, phenomenology, freedom, motivation
DOI: 10.1016/j.psychsport.2013.07.004
ISSN: 1469-0292
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Health Clinical and Counselling Psychology (170106)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Copyright Statement: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Psychology of Sport & Exercise. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in PUBLICATION, [VOL 16, ISSUE 4, (2013)] DOI: 10.1016/j.psychsport.2013.07.004
Deposited On: 04 Sep 2013 22:52
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2015 07:25

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