Looking at connections between innovation and sport: How sporting cultures identify and manage new technologies
The contemporary public perception of sport as heavily regulated by sets of established rules, thanks in part to popular media coverage of binding expedited decisions handed down within a 24 hour timeframe by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) during the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, can perpetuate the view that cultures of sport are orderly and negotiations within them are neat; however, this is far from the case. The view of sporting cultures as beholden to top-down regulation occludes many of the practices that embed techniques and technologies within sporting cultures. This paper seeks to explore the space often concealed by the dominant narratives that privilege governing bodies in sport, spaces that simultaneously deny agency to the multiple actors and artifacts implicated in the history of sporting technology. The project draws examples from preexisting studies on mountain biking, ultimate fighting, pole vaulting and speed skating in order to identify the processes within each sport that end up designating an object as a technology, motivations for management of that technology and the practices that eventually do or do not lead to adoption of the technology within the sport. This exercise will lead to the final section of this paper, a framework-in-progress outlining potential routes through which barefoot running, Vibram FiveFingers and other minimalist running shoes might eventually be adapted by one or more running cultures. This is partially a corrective endeavor, revealing more complicated running cultures that incorporate lived experience, and a speculative project that might aid other scholars in making connections between innovation and sport that attend to and are embedded in deeply social fields of practice.Peer reviewed journal of communication, culture, and technology
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Public perception of sport; Ultimate fighting; Pole vaulting; Minimalist running; Social construction of science; SCOT; Vibram FiveFingers; T14.5; Communication and technology; Technology and state; Technology -- Economic aspects; Technology -- Social aspects; Sports -- Public opinion; Mountain biking; Mixed martial arts; Vaulting; Speed skating; Sports -- Technological innovations;
United States; n-us---;
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