The role of sport (and sporting stories) in a family’s navigation of identity and meaning

Holly B. Cooper, Thomas K. Ewing

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    Storytelling is a significant vehicle for the transferral of knowledge, perpetuation of collective memories and construction of meaning. Stories and cultural storytellers are attracting dedicated research attention across a number of disciplines, including cognitive science. Yet few examine family storytellers, an avenue of arguable equal import. Nor, their role in perpetuating and regulating the system of shared values that underpin the family structure. Indeed, family sporting narratives are largely absent. Thus, through narrative inquiry, we examine the significance of storytelling practices and sporting stories, to one family which spans four generations and three continents. The findings, which centre on the five themes of narrative resources, identity construction, socialisation, traditions and transcendence, clarify the influence of family storytelling processes on value governance and collective identity construction. They emphasise the significance of individual cricket stories in constructing their own identities. These stories provided an important collective resource that was a source of social capital, enhancing the family’´s narrative equity.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)449-462
    Number of pages14
    JournalSport, Education and Society
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2020


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