Talking T-shirts: a visual exploration of youth material culture
Pope, C. (2010). Talking T-shirts: a visual exploration of youth material culture. Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise, 2(2), 133-152.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/4260
Readers should also refer to the journal's website at http://www.informaworld.com/rqrs and check volume 2, issue 2 to view the visual material in colour. The author completed a visual ethnography, first to explore the sport experiences of high school students taking part in New Zealand's major rowing competition, the Maadi Cup. Additionally, the project set out to explore the process and potential of using photographs as representations of such experiences. The core of this research project was based on spending 10 days and nights at the regatta site, living the everyday life of rowers and rowing. The compressed time frame required the convenience of digital photography and video. In addition to the obvious artefacts of rowing, there is a notable influence of material culture. Part of the rowers' everyday practice included this cultural production represented through the wearing and trading of T-shirts. Despite its highly competitive nature, this regatta is important to young people as an opportunity to socialise and explore individual identities. For many of these students, Maadi is both grueling and gregarious. True, it is important for them to participate as competitors, but these objects of material culture (e.g. T-shirts) help us understand how these young people communicate the wider meanings of being rowers.
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