Chancing your arm: the meaning of risk in rock climbing

Amanda West, Linda Allin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores the relationship between risk-taking and risk management by examining meanings attached to risk by a group of lifestyle sport participants. Drawing from in-depth interviews with male and female rock-climbers in the UK, it outlines the ways in which climbers' construction of risk and risk management were intimately related to broader discourses of risk and self-reflexivity in contemporary western society. Analysing the data using Douglas' work on risk and identity shows how climbers' discursive practices surrounding risk management are intrinsically related to their assumed identity as a competent, experienced and good climber. Consequently, this group of climbers established their credentials not by daring or risk-taking actions on the rock face but instead by demonstrating their competence in the way they managed and controlled risk
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1234-1248
JournalSport in Society
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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