Young athletic bodies and narrative maps of aging

Cassandra Phoenix, Andrew C. Sparkes

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This paper draws on data generated by life history interviews with 22, university based, young athletes to explore their narrative maps of aging. Three key resources were seen to provide information that shaped individual stories of self-aging. These were as follows: family members, older team members, and the undergraduate curriculum. Each of these is considered in turn and the manner in which they are consequential in constructing a feared self that is associated with bodily decline in the future is highlighted. It is suggested that these young athletes constitute a vulnerable group in relation to the aging process. The issue of narrative foreclosure is then discussed prior to suggestions being made as to how these prevailing narrative maps might be challenged and changed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-121
JournalJournal of Aging Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006


  • Age; Bodies; Narrative maps; Athletes; possible selves


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