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On being 'head strong': The pain zone and concussion in non-elite rugby union

Liston, Katie/K, McDowell, Mark, Malcolm, Dominic, Scott-Bell, Andrea and Waddington, Ivan (2016) On being 'head strong': The pain zone and concussion in non-elite rugby union. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 1 . pp. 1-17. [Journal article]

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DOI: 10.1177/1012690216679966


In recent years there has been growing concern about concussion in sport in general andrugby union in particular. The qualitative study reported here draws on interviews (n=20)with adult players in non-elite club rugby union in Ireland in order to explore the framesof reference within which they perceive, give meaning to and manage concussion. Within asporting subculture which emphasizes lay sporting values – particularly the value of ‘playinghurt’ – and which reflects a functional view of injury, non-elite players tend to display anirreverent attitude towards concussion which encourages risky behaviours and underplays,ignores or denies the significance of concussion. We analogously describe these beliefs andactions as being ‘head strong’. The paper concludes by identifying the contextual contingencieswhich make the regulation of injuries in rugby union so difficult and by establishing some coreprinciples of public health education campaigns that might be deployed to militate against thehigh incidence of concussive injury in future.

Item Type:Journal article
Keywords:amateur, concussion, injury, pain, policy, risk, rugby union
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Sport
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Research Institutes and Groups:Sport and Exercise Sciences Research Institute > Centre for Sport in Society
Sport and Exercise Sciences Research Institute
ID Code:36561
Deposited By: Dr Katie Liston
Deposited On:05 Jan 2017 09:06
Last Modified:17 Oct 2017 16:27

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