Heresy as a victorious political practice : grass-roots politics in Norwegian sports 1972-1975
Journal article, Peer reviewed
MetadataShow full item record
Original versionInternational review for the sociology of sport 35(2000), No. 2, p. 181-198
This article deals with a question of sport politics: the fight for female participation in the most popular running competition in Norway between 1972- 75. The focus is on the process from doxa (what we take for granted), through heterodoxa (the effort to challenge the doxa) and at the end ‘winning the game’. Most research in sport politics has focused on formal politics in sports organizations and official political aims of the state, but not, as in this paper, on informal counter-cultural movements and ‘ad-hoc-groups’. This is also an example of how private experiences become official stories. The approach used is that of the life story (my own, personal account of a particular experience), with some elements of life history (in the sense that I am placing my story into a particular cultural, social and political context). In addition to the use of Bourdieu’s concepts of doxa, heterodoxa and symbolic power, Mary Douglas’s symbolic systems of purity and dirt are also used in the analysis. The article demonstrates, through the life history method, how sport interlinked with gender politics and wider political alliances is challenging the sports establishment.