Dropping out and diving in: an ethnography of skydiving

Hardie-Bick, James (2005) Dropping out and diving in: an ethnography of skydiving. Doctoral thesis (PhD), Durham University.

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This thesis provides an in-depth study of the world of skydiving. Particular attention is given to the experiences of becoming and being a skydiver in order to investigate the norms, values and behaviour that typify the social world of skydiving from the inside. This qualitative investigation draws on data generated by conducting fieldwork together with a number of in-depth interviews and describes the sequence of changes that typically occur in a skydiver's moral career. By focusing attention on the social and moral experiences involved in becoming a skydiver I reveal how the neophyte undergoes a gradual process of important transitions before becoming a licensed skydiver. This developmental approach identifies and analyses how individual conceptions and experiences of skydiving change as the neophyte is gradually immersed within the skydiving community. The inquiry considers the significant changes that occur in the ways that novice and experienced skydivers account for their participation before contrasting their perceptions of fear and risk. By describing the gradual process of socialisation that occurs I also examine how entering this social world offers the neophyte a chance to construct a desirable social identity. By investigating the complex stages and social procedures that take the complete neophyte to being a licensed skydiver this research looks beyond the immediacy of excitement and analyses the shifting motivations, behaviours and experiences of those within the skydiving community.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Depositing User: James Hardie-Bick
Date Deposited: 23 May 2017 11:36
Last Modified: 23 May 2017 11:36
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/46763
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