Play and Conatus: An Exploration of the Resistance against Mainstream Commercialism within Communities of Boardsports

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Mård Mika
Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
Publication year: 2019
Journal: The International Journal of Sport and Society
Volume number: 10
Issue number: 3
Start page: 53
End page: 64
eISSN: 2152-7865


While alternative sports like snowboarding, skateboarding, and surfing
have experienced an unprecedented increase in both popularity and
industry revenues the last three decades, these boardsports are often
permeated by an anti-capitalist or anti-commercial ideology that is
manifested through a resistance against mainstream commercialism. The
purpose of this current article is to conceptually investigate this
ideology. How can we interpret, analyze, and better understand this
resistance against mainstream commercialism that is often manifested by
boardsport practitioners? In the attempt to conceptually explore this
question, this article will draw upon Huizinga’s (1955) notion of play
and argue that the essence of this resistance against mainstream
commercialism can be found in the playful practice of riding boards. To
clarify this conceptual argument this article will also point to the
affectivity of play and argue that the subcultural ideology permeating
alternative sports should first and foremost be understood as an
epiphenomenon of the affectivity of play. While this article is an
outcome of an empirical study done on the boardsport community in
Finland, it is primarily conceptual in nature, i.e., this article is
primarily an exploration of how Huizinga’s (1955) notion of play can be
used as an analytical tool to illuminate the essence of the resistance
against mainstream commercialism within communities of boardsports.

Last updated on 2020-14-07 at 07:06