Social capital, social media and the changing patterns of participation in climbing

David Holland-Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
234 Downloads (Pure)


This paper draws upon Bourdieu’s instrumental perspective on social capital in explaining the process of reproduction and change in the contemporary climbing context. This study investigated how different forms of social capital including social media networks have influenced the contemporary climbing culture. This field is a site of contestation between the residual, established and emerging cultures. Increased participation across age and gender seems to reflect the broadening of the middle class social position and this is particularly evident for women and young people. Social media networks reinforced the position and reproductive potential of the middle class in this context. This forms part of a broader five year study into climbing and mountaineering and draws upon a mixed grounded methodology where the researcher has taken the position of participant observer. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 11 climbers, six males and five females.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1101-1117
Number of pages17
JournalSport in Society
Issue number9
Early online date21 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sep 2017


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