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Elite Sports Training as Model for Future Internet Practices?

Abstract

This paper reflects on the experience of using ethnographic and experimental research at a high-performance athletic training center as model for drawing conclusion about the future everyday use of ICT and Internet technologies. The research project has consisted of field studies of training session and everyday life at an elite training center where athletes live and train as well as experimental design processes where new internet and media technologies has been explored within elite sports training. While in some aspects the research has been sports specific (such as using advanced video technology to analyze precise movements), in other aspects the training center has seemed like a more intense, extreme and streamlined version of our contemporary technological everyday. The training center has been a laboratory where issues of quantification of self, goal-orientation vs. creativity, and individual vs. community has been displayed in a more clear, isolated and focused way than observations of everyday life can glean. The conclusion is that studying the intense environments of elite athletes can be a fruitful approach to studying the sociology of Information technology. However, this is only the case as long as our societies are dominated by the same values as elite sports such as competitiveness, goal-orientation, specialization and efficiency through technology and discipline

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