The Downhill Mountain Bike Subculture in New Zealand
This research examines the experiences and meanings that elite downhill mountain bike racers assign to their involvement in the New Zealand downhill mountain bike subculture. The research is located in postmodern subcultural theory which embraces the fractured nature of modern lifeworlds in which transitory and unique cultural features such as music, style, fashion, objects, and images are becoming increasingly important and valued. Firstly, the research maps the downhill mountain bike subculture in New Zealand. Secondly, the research documents key components of the subculture and investigates the effect that belonging to the downhill mountain bike subculture has on the participants’ lives. This research follows a qualitative methodology that draws on a social constructivist epistemology. Semi-structured interviews were the predominant method for gathering data from five elite level participants who have raced in the downhill mountain bike world championships. The interview data were transcribed verbatim and analysed inductively to allow themes to emerge. The researcher’s reflexivity aided the research process and acted as a point of reference for many of the findings. It is hoped that this research will contribute to knowledge by helping progress postmodern subcultural theories within a sport and recreation context. In addition, this study may provide practitioners with a deeper understanding of their sport and subculture.
Advisor: Boyes, Mike
Degree Name: Master of Physical Education
Degree Discipline: School of Physical Education
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: downhill mountain biking; subculture; postmodern; lifestyle
Research Type: Thesis