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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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Making it count

Making it count

(p.81) 4 Making it count

Karen Throsby

Manchester University Press

This chapter explores the tension between the ephemerality of swimming and its embodied and symbolic ‘realness’ for the swimmer, and investigates the multiple ways in which material and virtual artefacts are produced and mobilised to make swimming count and render it consumable. The chapter argues that in spite of the suspicions within the marathon swimming social world about the potentially corrupting effect of technology to the integrity of the sport, the everyday practice of marathon swimming is highly, if selectively, technologised. This technological ambivalence is negotiated via social world norms of data gathering, processing and sharing, with users positioning themselves as discriminating and restrained users. This highlights marathon swimming as a tradition-oriented practice with a profoundly contemporary inflection.

Keywords:   Artefacts, Technology, Consumption, Tracking, Gamification, Authenticity

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