An important characteristic and intensifying trend in the twenty-first century within Western sporting cultures is an increase in the range and diversity of sports practices, particularly more informal and individualistic activities. A vibrant example of this trend is the emergence and growth of what the academic and popular literature has variously termed extreme, alternative, adventure and lifestyle sports. In this chapter we consider the growing popularity and significance of these sports, illustrating their impact on the contemporary sporting landscape. First, we explore what lifestyle sports are and the ways in which they have impacted contemporary youth lifestyles, focusing on the UK, where much of our own research has been conducted and North America, where many of these sports originated and have had most impact on the sportscape. We consider how we can understand and conceptualise the youth (sub)cultures and identities that underpin them, and highlight some of the key trends in their development, including commercialisation. Second, the chapter reviews literature on lifestyle sports as an urban spatial practice and the attendant cultural politics associated with youth lifestyles expressed in urban environments through street sports like skateboarding and parkour/free-running. Third, acknowledging the virtual/real interface at the forefront of youth identities and experiences, we consider the role of digital media in fuelling the popularity, culture and economy of lifestyle sports.
|Title of host publication||Routledge Handbook of Youth Sport|
|Editors||K. Green, A. Smith|
|Place of Publication||Oxford, UK|
|Number of pages||15|
|Publication status||Published - 7 Jan 2016|
|Name||Routledge International Handbooks|
Bibliographical noteThis is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in Routledge Handbook of Youth Sport on 07/01/2016, available online: https://www.routledge.com/Routledge-Handbook-of-Youth-Sport/Green-Smith/p/book/9780415840033
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- Centre for Aquatic Environments
- Centre for Memory, Narrative and Histories
- Centre for Spatial, Environmental and Cultural Politics
- Society, Space and Environment Research and Enterprise Group
- Sport and Leisure Cultures Research and Enterprise Group
- Tourism, Hospitality and Events Research and Enterprise Group