‘Once a Local Surfer, Always a Local Surfer’: Local Surfing Careers in a Southwest English Village
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This article reports on findings from an ethnographic study (2008–09) conducted in a village with a significant population of local surfers in Cornwall (Southwest England). Stimulated by Goffman's (1961) interpretation of the concept of career and elaborated by the work of Stebbins (1970) on “subjective career,” Stebbins's (1982) framework of “serious leisure” and “serious leisure career” (Stebbins, 2005), we identify moments from local surfer careers lived in this community setting. We suggest that similar to findings from other subcultural studies on sports careers the local surfing career in this context contains shared experiential stages: the nurtured stage, the possible competitive stage, the serious leisure traveller stage, the responsible stage, and the legends stage. We conclude that the shared experiences and pathways of a local surfing career can play a positive cultural role, not just for individuals but also for the construction and maintenance of local community life.
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