Identity & Relationships in Crossfit Community?
(2017) Identity & Relationships in Crossfit Community?, no. 62.
The research conceptualized crossfit as a subculture and aimed to enhance sociological understanding of the lived experiences of crossfit members in relation to identity, the body, gender, group identity and social relationships. Whilst there is an abundance of sociological research on subcultures and research on the sociology of sport focuses on identity in relation to gender and bodies, there is a lack of research on crossfit itself. On the whole, the sociology of subculture neglects to examine the relationship between identity and embodiment, this research addresses this gap via a case study of crossfit as a subculture. Three research questions asked; 1. Is there a 'crossfit identity'? How is this identity embodied? 2. What relationship is there between gender and members' crossfit experiences? 3. To what extent does language allow for a group identity and relationships to be established and maintained? A qualitative methodology was employed, where interviews were carried out in order to gain in depth primary data regarding participants' experiences and feelings in relation to crossfit. Subsequently, thematic analysis was carried out leading to findings which indicate that crossfit is embodied in both how men and women identify, influencing their relationships both at crossfit and in other settings such as at work, with friends and the family home. Men and women view their bodies not only as a product but also an instrument that can influence their experience. 'In group' language is used by participants in discussion of their shared experiences, but also results in ambiguity to a certain extent. Crossfit is a clear facilitator for participants to enhance themselves in an accepted group, whilst strengthening social relationships in some cases and also becoming a barrier amongst some social relationships.