Sport&Society Conference 2020

2020 Special Focus—Playful Minds: Assessing the Socio-Cultural Potential of Sport and Physical A au ctivity

Du 18 au 19 juin 2020 Université de Grenade, Espagne

Radical Experience of Uncertainty and Fragility – Identities, Meaning, and Purpose of Running Long Distance?

Mathilde Plard, Universite de Nantes, Nantes, France

Abstract : Making progress in trail running supposes in particular learning how to listen to the subtle or violent signs sent by the body. This research analyzes the difficulties and the strategies implemented by runners to appropriate this living body which reacts and adapts itself to the environment and to the stress generated by the situation of long-distance. The conceptual framework choose is the one of phenomenology. Each type of experience describes a deep level of living bodies and of the consciousness of lived body. I investigate the hypothesis that running very long distances in the wilderness would allow for a radical and fundamental experience of fragility, uncertainty, and presence in the world. These practices evoke a balance between the power and fragility of being – alive – in the world, allowing us to (re)connect with the vital impulse, to increase the power of being. Ultra-trail would be the paradoxical remedy: accelerate to make the world vibrate. Against the spiral of acceleration, increasing speed would allow to experience a connection to the world: a resonance. What if running, faster, longer would finally offer the opportunity for a here and now? The stories of ultra-trail-type races serve as a support corpus for thinking about the relationship of distance with the conceptual framework proposed by Rosa. Trail running is presented as a path of immersion, of plural incorporation into oneself (i), others (ii) and the world or nature (iii).

Keywords : Body, Immersion, Expérience, Sport, Running, Ultra-trail.

Thèmes : Sporting, Cultures and Identities.

Sport&Society Conference 2019

2019 Special Focus – Sports Media Vectors: Digitization, Expanding Audiences, and the Globalization of Live Sport — 20–21 June 2019, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada

Mathilde Plard

Abstract — Trail Event Impact in “Sport Media Vectors / Sporting Cultures and Identities”

The Trail Event Impact project aims to capture the community identity related to one trail running events and what are the runner’s connections to it. Web 2.0 provides new insights into the ability of sports events to structure social territories. Online Social Media (OSN) such as Twitter are used by brands, groups, and all kinds of users. Brand needs some monitoring to set up digital strategies and e-reputation management based on the most extensive understanding of their own community. Furthermore, a sporting event must be considered according to different spaces and scales. Social networks and the OSM have become real spaces where people communicate, exchange, evaluate and comment on their experience.

Sport&Society Conference.18

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par M. Plard & V. Guichet

Special Focus –
Sports Impacts: Reshaping Cities, Environments, People

Sports are forms of social organization. They depend upon, and are always supported by, institutional infrastructures. In what ways should we measure the material impact of sports on cities, environments, and their people? How might we consider infrastructures as agents of change, environmental, economic, and social?


Édition 2018 : Florida International University

Running 2.0, the Web Graph of a Running Event:
Case Study of UTBM and NYC Marathon

Mathilde Plard, Universite de Nantes, Nantes, France
Guichet Violaine, Universite de Nantes, Nantes, France

Running is turning into a very popular mass sport. CHALLENGE project aims to contribute to the understanding of whom the runners are and what are their connections to one running event. We choose the social space of the web to explore those relationships. Web 2.0 provides new insights into the ability of sports events to structure social territories. Data from Twitter are used to assess the dynamic of the WebSpace from the accounts of two iconic races: Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc in France and the New York City Marathon in the United States. Web Graphs are valuable tools for exploring and queering the relationships between polarities such as hashtags, users, twitter, links, media. An innovative two-step method has been used to shape the database: capture and extraction of the web to collect twitter data (step 1), import and processing in free software analysis and visualization Gephi (step 2). Results will be presented in the form of graphs to illustrate the analysis of lexical fields and representations associated with events; and mappings to show the spatial radiation of events from the user’s account. The exploratory results highlight the emergence of a social community whose territory functions in a reticular way.

Auteur.e.s : M. Plard & V. Guichet
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