Title

Skateboarding Subculture: The Occupation of Skateboarding Related To Sensation-Seeking and Injury

Start Time

14-10-2009 7:00 PM

End Time

14-10-2009 9:00 PM

Abstract

Background and Need: Skateboarding is an occupation characterized by high rates of injury. Research is limited that explores the attitudes, values and beliefs of skateboarders toward risk-taking and injury. The purpose of this ethnographic study is to describe the values, behaviors, beliefs, and language of skateboarders in order to understand the cultural perspective of injury in this culture-sharing group. This study examined the following research questions: (a) How do the cultural beliefs of skateboarders influence their engagement in this occupation? And (b) How do the values of skateboard culture influence attitude toward injury? Methodology: This ethnographic study explored the culture of skateboarding in regards to the meaning and identity derived from the occupation as well as cultural influences on attitudes toward injury. An interview using open-ended questions was performed with seven active skateboarders ranging in age from 18 to 35 years of age. In addition, approximately 20 hours of field observations were performed. Observations and field notes were used to triangulate with the interview data. Results: A chronology emerged with data analysis that revealed an entrance and persistence of the participants in the skateboard culture even in the face of serious injury. This chronology begins with a description of Prerequisite Personality Traits that include acceptance and rationalization of risk; a need to create something new; and fear. Next, the individual engages in the Skateboarding Occupation. The Skateboarding Occupation is learned by watching and has required skills. However, acceptance or entrance into the culture of skateboarding is only gained through Meeting the Challenge. The challenge for skateboarders is performing a ‘trick’ and tricks require practice. Participants enter and persist in the culture of skateboarding due to the rewards or Values of the Culture. The experience of freedom is the most sought after value of those who skateboard as an occupation but continued progression to reach one’s individual best is also important. Conclusion: The core values of freedom and progression to one’s individual best in the skateboarding subculture outweigh the risk of injury inherent to the occupation of skateboarding. Skateboarders accept injury as an attribute of the occupation they practice and reinforce this acceptance on a social level.

References

Boyd, M. & Kim, M. (2007). Goal orientation and sensation seeking in relation to optimal mood states among skateboarders. Journal of Sport Behavior, 30(1), 21-35.

Haines, C. (2004). Sensation-seeking and sport motivation among board sport competitors. Unpublished master's thesis, Texas State University-San Marcos. Thesis Location

Lorr, M. (2005). Skateboarding and the x-gamer phenomenon: a case of subcultural cooptation. Humanity and Society, 29(2), 140-147.

Zuckerman, M. and Kuhlman, D.M. (2000). Personality and risk-taking: common biosocial factors. Journal of Personality, 68(6), 999-1029. DOI: 10.1111/1467-6494.00124

Comments

Poster Session

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Oct 14th, 7:00 PM Oct 14th, 9:00 PM

Skateboarding Subculture: The Occupation of Skateboarding Related To Sensation-Seeking and Injury

Background and Need: Skateboarding is an occupation characterized by high rates of injury. Research is limited that explores the attitudes, values and beliefs of skateboarders toward risk-taking and injury. The purpose of this ethnographic study is to describe the values, behaviors, beliefs, and language of skateboarders in order to understand the cultural perspective of injury in this culture-sharing group. This study examined the following research questions: (a) How do the cultural beliefs of skateboarders influence their engagement in this occupation? And (b) How do the values of skateboard culture influence attitude toward injury? Methodology: This ethnographic study explored the culture of skateboarding in regards to the meaning and identity derived from the occupation as well as cultural influences on attitudes toward injury. An interview using open-ended questions was performed with seven active skateboarders ranging in age from 18 to 35 years of age. In addition, approximately 20 hours of field observations were performed. Observations and field notes were used to triangulate with the interview data. Results: A chronology emerged with data analysis that revealed an entrance and persistence of the participants in the skateboard culture even in the face of serious injury. This chronology begins with a description of Prerequisite Personality Traits that include acceptance and rationalization of risk; a need to create something new; and fear. Next, the individual engages in the Skateboarding Occupation. The Skateboarding Occupation is learned by watching and has required skills. However, acceptance or entrance into the culture of skateboarding is only gained through Meeting the Challenge. The challenge for skateboarders is performing a ‘trick’ and tricks require practice. Participants enter and persist in the culture of skateboarding due to the rewards or Values of the Culture. The experience of freedom is the most sought after value of those who skateboard as an occupation but continued progression to reach one’s individual best is also important. Conclusion: The core values of freedom and progression to one’s individual best in the skateboarding subculture outweigh the risk of injury inherent to the occupation of skateboarding. Skateboarders accept injury as an attribute of the occupation they practice and reinforce this acceptance on a social level.