‘Getting back on the bike’: risk, injury and sport-related concussion in competitive road cycling

Hardwicke, J. ORCID: 0000-0002-1152-0920, Hurst, H.T. and Matthews, C.R. ORCID: 0000-0001-8561-2863, 2024. ‘Getting back on the bike’: risk, injury and sport-related concussion in competitive road cycling. Sociology of Sport Journal. ISSN 0741-1235

1868029_Hardwicke.pdf - Post-print

Download (335kB) | Preview


A clear and consistent finding across three decades of sociological work focused on performance sports is that various sports can be considered social spaces in which risk, pain and injury is accepted, normalised and valorised. In recent years, the emergent scientific and popular concern around the short- and long-term consequences of sport-related concussion has seen a resurgence in the use of classic sociological ideas to help understand why athletes appear to downplay, continue competing and sometimes ignore potential brain injuries. Using data from interviews, this paper explores these social processes in the sport of road cycling in Britain. We present the argument that the enduring utility of classic sociological concepts in explaining athlete behaviours toward risk, pain and injury may be indicative of the obdurate nature of the cultural norms which circulate in performance sport settings. With regard to the ongoing problems with concussion in sport, we show the continued need to understand the social context in which much sport is imagined and practiced. This leads to our suggestion that socio-cultural and interactional processes in many sporting subcultures, which support the normative acceptance of behaviours which prioritise performance over health, need to be more readily challenged if we wish to achieve comprehensive change toward improved athlete welfare.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Sociology of Sport Journal
Creators: Hardwicke, J., Hurst, H.T. and Matthews, C.R.
Publisher: Human Kinetics
Date: 11 May 2024
ISSN: 0741-1235
Rights: Accepted author manuscript version reprinted, by permission, from Sociology of Sport Journal, 2024 (ahead of print). © Human Kinetics, Inc.
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 29 Feb 2024 10:55
Last Modified: 21 May 2024 10:47
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/50981

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View


Views per month over past year


Downloads per month over past year