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Mother runners in the blogosphere: a discursive psychological analysis of online recreational athlete identities


McGannon, KR and McMahon, J and Gonsalves, CA, Mother runners in the blogosphere: a discursive psychological analysis of online recreational athlete identities, Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 28 pp. 125-135. ISSN 1469-0292 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 Elsevier

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2016.11.002



Qualitative research on physically active mothers has shown that recreational sport may allow women to resist good mother ideals that often constrain exercise. The purpose of this study was to extend this understanding in a socio-cultural context by examining how recreational athlete mother identities were constructed within one form of new media - blogging.


A qualitative approach grounded in discursive psychology was used to theorize athlete mother identities as subject positions constructed within particular discourses circulated within a blog.


Critical discourse analysis of 30 stories and 177 reader comments from the North American online running community Another Mother Runner, was conducted. Visual data analysis of 102 images accompanying stories also contextualized the textual meanings of discourses and subject positions.


Two primary discourses were identified: discourse of transformation and empowerment and a discourse of disruption and resolution. Subject positions constructed within these two intersecting discourses were role mother/advocate and resilient mother runner.


This study extends discursive psychology literature in sport and exercise psychology as well as media work on athlete mother identities within sport psychology into the realm of the internet and identity construction.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:critical discourse analysis, cultural sport psychology, motherhood, running
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Other education
Research Field:Other education not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Schools and learning environments
Objective Field:Equity and access to education
UTAS Author:McMahon, J (Associate Professor Jennifer McMahon)
ID Code:112473
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:26
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2016-11-11
Last Modified:2018-05-29

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