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  • 1.
    Carlén, Urban
    et al.
    Department of Social and Behavioural Studies, University West, Trollhättan, Sweden.
    Maivorsdotter, Ninitha
    University of Skövde, School of Health and Education. University of Skövde, Health and Education.
    Exploring the role of digital tools in running: The meaning-making of user-generated data in a social networking site2016In: Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, ISSN 2159-676X, E-ISSN 2159-6778, Vol. 9, no 1, p. 18-32Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of the study is to examine how runners make meaning of digital tools in the dialogues published on a social networking site (SNS) created by and for runners who choose to run alone. The study explores the digital data generated by the runners using global positioning systems, such as how many kilometres have been covered, the average pace, the geographical location, the total climb, health information related to pulse rate and the number of calories burned. Some runners share this kind of data when publishing postings on the SNS. The empirical data consists of published postings of visual graphs and photographs with comments in threads retrieved from the online archives. A transactional approach and practical epistemology analysis are employed to focus on and analyse the meaning-making processes that are located in the social practices that the runners create when participating online. The participants make meaning of digital tools (such as sport watches and associated apps) by: (1) sharing details about their running performances, (2) signalling their presence in the social network of lone runners and (3) planning running events. Digital information is primarily used to reinforce the runners’ identity formation. The meaning-making of digital tools thus becomes a way of highlighting an individual’s social affinity to a runners’ collective. Surprisingly, lone runners do not use the performance-related feedback and health information offered by the digital tools to enhance their running progress when participating in the SNS.

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