Narratives of adventure, intimacy, conformity, and rejection: Narrative inquiry as a new theoretical approach to understanding how female student athletes 'do' sport-related drinking
In this paper we offer narrative inquiry as a theoretical approach to understanding how women student athletes ‘do’ sport-related drinking. 11 women student athletes took part in individual face-to-face interviews each approximately one hour in duration. Data were analysed via structural and thematic narrative analysis to identify public and private narratives, narrative tensions and narrative silences. Findings are presented in the form of analytical abstraction (Story analyst) and creative non-fiction (Storyteller) to both discuss and show theoretical understandings. Two public narratives, ‘Drinking adventures’ and ‘We are family,’ were identified as meta narratives via which women student athletes learn how to ‘do’ drinking. However, three private, counter narratives, ‘Fresher do this,’ ‘Know your limits,’ and ‘The Ghost story,’ revealed narrative tensions and contradictions. These findings provide new insights into the nuances, complexities, and power dynamics surrounding women student athletes’ drinking practices and can be used to inform more specifically tailored health interventions.