Sporting Identity, Memory, and People with Dementia: Opportunities, Challenges, and Potential for Oral History

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Abstract

We report on a unique project which utilized oral history methodology undertaken with four people with dementia to explore their sense of identity within the context of their sports/physical activity histories. An oral history approach was advantageous in understanding the values individuals ascribed to sport/physical activities within their contemporary identities and daily lives. Findings and conclusions were made possible that would have been inaccessible using alternative methodological approaches, such as documentary analysis, because the project explored intersections between memory recollection and creation and first-hand experiences of physical praxis. The challenges encountered, and learning points identified from the data are discussed. We posit that when participant and contextual sensitives and sensibilities are adopted (here with a special cohort), oral history may work as an effective method of enabling reflection upon times past for a group of people as yet under-represented in sport history literature. In this way, oral history can enable historical experiences to be brought into the light, enjoyed, scrutinized, and understood.

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APA

Russell, C., Kohe, G. Z., Brooker, D., & Evans, S. (2019). Sporting Identity, Memory, and People with Dementia: Opportunities, Challenges, and Potential for Oral History. International Journal of the History of Sport, 36(13–14), 1157–1179. https://doi.org/10.1080/09523367.2019.1703690

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