Dissertation Abstracts

Physical Activity, Families and Wellbeing

Author: John Day, john.day@canterbury.ac.uk
Department: School of Human and Life Sciences
University: Canterbury Christ Church University, United Kingdom
Supervisor: Professor Mike Weed
Year of completion: 2017
Language of dissertation: English

Keywords: Physical Activity , Families , Happiness , Life Histories
Areas of Research: Sport , Family Research , Health


Informed by sociology, social psychology and happiness economics, John’s PhD investigates physical activity, families and wellbeing. The study uses a synthesis between physical activity careers and oral histories of family membership to simultaneously uncover socialisation, life course and generational effects. The specific areas explored are: • The influence of being a family member upon physical activity habits • The impact of physical activity involvement on family relationships • The relevance of childhood physical activity to lifelong participation • The contribution of physical activity to wellbeing within a range and variety of family contexts To do this research I conducted life history interviews with 5 males and 5 females aged 20-29 years, 5 males and 5 females aged 40-49 years, and 5 males and 5 females aged 60+ years. I also moved beyond a more generic life history methodology to focus upon a career approach to explore physical activity experiences and synthesised this with oral histories of family membership. The ontological and epistemological premises of the study are derived from the philosophical positions adopted in seminal life history and career-oriented studies, specifically Thomas and Znaniecki’s (1918-20)The Polish Peasant in Europe and America, Shaw’s (1930) The Jack Roller and Becker et al.’s (1961) Boys in White.

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