Indoorisation 2.0: Home Climbing Wall As a Case

Monday, 16 July 2018: 11:00
Oral Presentation
KoFan LEE, University of Mississippi, USA
The establishment of indoor climbing facilities redefines the sport of rock climbing (Kulczycki & Hinch, 2014). Indoor spaces are built to simulate rock surfaces with various angles and features, which not only provide accessibility to publics, but enables climbers to improve their techniques (Thomas, 2016, April). Nonetheless, indoorisation not only take place in public spaces, climbers also build home climbing spaces. By search the term “home climbing wall” on Google, approximately 25,5000,000 results are found. This search result implies the presence of a subworld in a broader rock climbing community. Online contents also reveal the discourses, activity, practices, technology and organizations involved in this subworld (Strauss, 1978). Further, while climbers have a long-history to craft their own training devices and spaces, a preliminary look into those online contents also suggests the hints of commercialization (e.g., instruction of building a home climbing wall are provided on the website of manufacturers, outdoor gear retailers, media and individuals). In lifestyle sports, including rock climbing, commercialization is seen as a changing force to modify the practices, identity and even the culture of a sport (Wheaton, 2004). As a result, the general research direction of this preliminary study is to explore the social world of home climbing wall through online contents, its position in broader climbing world, and the influences of commercialization on this social world.

Selected References

Kulczycki, C., & Hinch, T. (2014). “It’s a place to climb”: place meanings of indoor rock climbing facilities. Leisure/Loisir, 38(3-4), 271-293. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14927713.2015.1043710

Strauss, A. (1978). A social world perspective. Studies in symbolic interaction, 1(1), 119-128.

Thomas, G. (2016). Will rock climbing lose its soul to gym rats?. Outside. Retrieved from https://www.outsideonline.com/2063681/will-rock-climbing-lose-its-soul-gym-rats