Writing Lives in Sports: Biographies, Life Histories, and Methods

Writing Lives in Sports: Biographies, Life Histories, and Methods


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This is a book of stories about sports persons: sports stars, less-known athletes and relatively unknown physical education teachers and sports scientists. More exactly, these 13 essays all deal with problems associated with writing sport biographies - how does an author navigate among myths and truths? Why do some athletes live on in the public mind while others, whose achievements may have been greater, fade from memory? Are sports biographies different from those dealing with people from the non-sporting realm? The subjects range from direct theoretical explorations of writing sport biographies to discussions of biographies themselves. Topics include the following: The German-American sports- and physiology scientist Professor Ernst Jokl; Danish gymnastics pedagogue Niels Bukh; two studies of physical education teachers, including Martti Silvennionen's work on autoethnographical pedagogy in PE teacher training; women's sport in Denmark's intermediary period of 1920-1950; writing about women and sport, and the Finnish worker sports movement experience from a woman's viewpoint. Another essay observes the contrasts in the legends of two sports stars in twentieth century Britain, the English footballer Jackie Milburn and the Olympic athlete, Godfrey Brown. Other topics include the English sports hero from the 1940s and '50s, Denis Compton, the Swedish footballer Lennart Nacka Skoglund and the Danish cyclist Niels Fredborg.Writing Lives in Sports provides lively discussions of individual sporting lives as well as important methodological and conceptual questions for writers and biographers of sport figures and other genres.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9788779340848
Publisher: Aarhus University Press
Publication date: 10/01/2004
Series: Acta Jutlandica Series , #78
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.28(w) x 9.70(h) x 0.72(d)

Table of Contents

The Historical Biography: Genre, History and Methodology17
The Mysterious Professor Jokl25
Gymnastics and Politics: Niels Bukh and the Biographical Genre41
The Anonymous Biography?59
Re-telling Physical Education Teachers' Life Stories71
Biographical Narratives about Acculturation, Education and Training95
Unfortunately She was the Winner115
We Love Them and We Hate Them: On the Emotional Involvement and other Challenges during Biographical Research131
The Legend of Jackie Milburn and the Life of Godfrey Brown157
'Brylcreem Boy': Inter-Textual Signification in the Life of Denis Compton171
'Nacka' Skoglund: a Swedish Soccer Player as a Welfare-Nationalistic Myth179

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