Tackling discrimination and barriers to participation in outdoor adventure sports through design thinking and new technological innovations

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther


Climbing has traditionally been the preserve of the white, male, middle classes who have maintained their exclusive and cultural dominance of this field, and this has presented barriers for those who are outside these social networks. Since the late 1960s, there has been a change in the adventure sport landscape illustrated by the emergence of what has become known as ‘lifestyle sports’. These changes have been the result of such factors as the integration and development of technological innovation within the climbing context, specifically the use of social media; commercialization; new patterns of consumption; and globalization which have incorporated a wider set of social and cultural values beyond those of the traditional outdoor adventure participant. Consequently, this new and emerging field has become increasingly more attractive to a broader demographic base which includes women and youth sub-cultural groups. It is suggested that whilst these constitute a broader spectrum of participation this is based on horizontal networks across similar homogeneous social positions. This Chapter explores the relationship between social media, technological innovation and social capital and how they have impacted on patterns of participation in an indoor and sport climbing context.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2015
EventSport and Discrimination Conference 2015 - University of Sunderland, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 1 May 20151 May 2015


ConferenceSport and Discrimination Conference 2015
CountryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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