Grasping physical exercise through recreational running and non-representational theory: a case study from Sofia, Bulgaria

Andrew Barnfield*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

Abstract

To become and maintain being physically active encompasses more than purely mindful and rational decision‐making. Physical activity requires theoretical‐methodological approaches that provide more subtle understandings of the variety of contextual factors. Nettleton and Green have recently argued persuasively for the need for the sociology of public health to embrace social practices. It is also necessary to think about the spaces, affects and technologies of engagement in physical exercise. This article examines the practices of recreational runners in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. The article has three aims; (i) to draw attention to the promise of non‐representational theory as an additive for health research and the contextual factors of health practices, (ii) to examine recreational runner's practices and techniques of engagement in light of non‐representational theory, and (iii) to highlight how interventions in Sofia and beyond can incorporate elements of non‐representational theory into their strategies for improved public health. In drawing attention to the promise of non‐representational theory and social practices this article concludes by emphasising their importance for public health interventions in physical activity strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1121-1136
Number of pages16
JournalSociology of Health and Illness
Volume38
Issue number7
Early online date31 May 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sep 2016

Structured keywords

  • SPS Centre for Urban and Public Policy Research

Keywords

  • public health
  • qualititative methods
  • health behaviour

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