Risk and benefits in lifestyle sports: parkour, law and social value

Gilchrist, P. and Osborn, G. (2017) Risk and benefits in lifestyle sports: parkour, law and social value. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, 9 (1). pp. 55-69. ISSN 1940-6940

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Official URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19406940.2016.1272619


This paper examines the interrelationship between law and lifestyle sports, viewed through the lens of parkour. We argue that the literature relating to legal approaches to lifestyle sport is currently underdeveloped and so seek to partially fill this lacuna. Hitherto, we argue, the law has been viewed as a largely negative presence, seen particularly in terms of the ways in which counter-cultural activities are policed and regulated, and where such activities are viewed as transgressive or undesirable. We argue that this is a somewhat unsophisticated take on how the law can operate, with law constructed as an outcome of constraints to behaviour (where the law authorises or prohibits), distinct from the legal contexts, environments and spaces in which these relationships occur. We argue that the distinctive settings in which lifestyle sports are practiced needs a more fine-grained analysis as they are settings which bear, and bring to life, laws and regulations that shape how space is to be experienced. We examine specifically the interrelationship between risk and benefit and how the law recognises issues of social utility or value, particularly within the context of lifestyle sport. We seek to move from user-centred constructions of law as an imposition, to a more nuanced position that looks at parkour at the intersections of law, space and lifestyle sport, in order to reveal how law can be used to support and extend claims to space.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: risk; sports law; lifestyle sport; liability; social benefit; parkour;
Subjects: University of Westminster > Westminster Law School
SWORD Depositor: repository@westminster.ac.uk
Depositing User: repository@westminster.ac.uk
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2016 14:11
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2017 09:12
URI: http://westminsterresearch.wmin.ac.uk/id/eprint/17847

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