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ImmersionMarathon Swimming, Embodiment and Identity$
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Karen Throsby

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780719099625

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719099625.001.0001

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Failing bodies

Failing bodies

Chapter:
(p.152) 8 Failing bodies
Source:
Immersion
Author(s):

Karen Throsby

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719099625.003.0009

This chapter explores the ways in which pain, injury and the failure to complete a long swim are experienced and accounted for in marathon swimming, and asks what this means for our understandings of what counts as the healthy body. It argues that rather than constituting mutually exclusive, zero-sum categories, health and injury, and bodily success and failure, are determined by the extent to which they can be aligned with normative social world values of autonomy, bodily discipline and self-reflexivity, rather than demonstrable levels of sporting accomplishment. This highlights the provisionality of the normative linking of health and physical activity, and the failure of utilitarian notions of health to account for the sustained engagement with marathon swimming.

Keywords:   Pain, Injury, Recovery, Failure, Body, Health, Sport

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