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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Volunteers' embodied experiences at a sport festival

Owen, Steven and Chambers, Donna (2021) Volunteers' embodied experiences at a sport festival. Event Management, 26 (4). pp. 747-761. ISSN 1943-4308

Item Type: Article


In this paper we argue that extant research in event studies on volunteering has predominantly been conducted through disembodied managerial lenses using formulaic conceptual frames. This has resulted in the neglect of more phenomenological approaches which explore volunteers’ lived experiences. Using the example of the 2018 Tall Ships festival in the provincial North East English city of Sunderland, we draw on embodiment theory to fill this gap in event management research. Utilising in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 31 local volunteers, our main findings are two-fold. First, they highlight the complexities and fluidity of local volunteers’ lived experiences of the festival which reflect a multitude of interrelated elements that are corporeal, emotional, and multisensory. Second, these embodied experiences, combined with knowledge of self and place, create fresh, vivid, and subjective meanings which collapse the past, present and future of post-industrial places riddled by economic decline. Our focus on the volunteer experience in the medium term after the event has occurred represents a distinctive timeline as it provides insights into how volunteers interpret, remember, and reconfigure their experience beyond initial euphoria and before long-term nostalgia.

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Depositing User: Donna Chambers


Item ID: 14593
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ISSN: 1943-4308
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ORCID for Donna Chambers: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2022 13:53
Last Modified: 06 Dec 2022 12:56


Author: Donna Chambers ORCID iD
Author: Steven Owen

University Divisions

Faculty of Business, Law and Tourism > Sunderland Law School


Tourism > Events Management

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