‘Sex, drugs and snowboarding’: (il)legitimate definitions of taste and lifestyle in a physical youth culture
Thorpe, H. (2012). ‘Sex, drugs and snowboarding’: (il)legitimate definitions of taste and lifestyle in a physical youth culture. Leisure Studies, 31(1), 33-51.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/6024
This paper examines the hedonistic social interactions and lifestyles embraced by many contemporary physical youth cultural participants via the case of snowboarding. Drawing upon an array of primary and secondary sources collected over seven years, I present a three-part analysis of the hedonistic party lifestyle, alcohol and drug consumption (for both pleasure and performance), and the hyper-sexuality, at the core of the snowboarding culture. Engaging Bourdieu’s theory of distinction, and particularly his concepts of field, practice and taste, in dialogue with my empirical evidence, I reveal the definitions of pleasure and the hedonistic snowboarding lifestyle as highly contested. While many cultural participants are complicit to hierarchical and/or violent attempts to regulate the dominant tastes and practices within the snowboarding field, others are engaging in an array of symbolic and embodied struggles to (re)define meanings of ‘pleasure’ in the snowboarding lifestyle and après snow culture more broadly.
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