Using qualitative methodology to better understand why females experience barriers to regular participation in adventure sport in Scotland

Sarah Morton

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Since the emergence of the ‘experience economy’, the adventure sport industry in Scotland has enjoyed significant economic growth. Participant increase has been predominately male, and although female participant numbers have increased also, there is little to indicate narrowing of inequality. The established debate about strength, risk perception, and family choices for females is ongoing. However, studies specifically focusing on deeper, lived experiences of female participants are in the emergent phases, with little documented on how these unexplored factors might inform the debate. Taking a qualitative approach, this study explores motivations and barriers for female participants, identifies issues, and offers suggestions that could address these. An auto-ethnographic methodology was implemented using the researchers own experiences of participating with male and female participants, and interviews were conducted with female participants. Five key themes were identified: i) participation cost; ii) lack of reliable information; iii) support of others; iv) general perception that adventure sport is largely unachievable; and, v) the importance of being part of the adventure sport community. Overlap between themes was observed and noted
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-200
Number of pages16
JournalSport in Society
Issue number2
Early online date15 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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