The single article analysis is an independent critical “deep
dive” into one of the readings for this quarter. This should be
a critical view of the article and its relation to the themes of
the class. All assignments should draw upon and reference other
works in the class, including discussion and lecture, readings
and films, as relevant. 1,500-2,000 words in Length.
Article Title: “Moral Modes of Attention: Transformation of the Self From Addict to Ultramarathon Runner”
Author: Cecale, Courtney Evelyn
Themes from Class:
Pathological or Normative
Mind Body Connection
Impact on the body
Self-Discipline and Asceticism
rarely occurs in cultural vacuum
Test of strength, endurance, pain
Pathological or Normative: The transition from addiction to ultramarathon running involves a shift from a potentially pathological state (addiction) to a normative state (healthy lifestyle), reflecting changes in behavior and attitudes.
Biological Limits/Boundaries: Ultramarathon runners push their biological limits and explore the concept of physical boundaries in human endurance.
Mind-Body Connection: Explore the intricate relationship between the mind and body during the transformation process, focusing on the psychological factors that drive physical endurance and the impact of physical fitness on mental well-being. Reference Maeda “Special Training”
Impact on the Body: The book may delve into the physiological and psychological impacts of addiction and ultramarathon running on the human body.
Flow Experiences: Ultramarathon runners often describe experiencing a state of flow, where they are fully immersed in the activity, which could be a significant aspect of their transformation.
Ascetic Components: The rigorous training and discipline required for ultramarathon running could be viewed as ascetic practices, emphasizing self-control and self-denial. Reference Maeda “Special Training”
Test of Strength, Endurance, Pain: Ultramarathon running involves immense physical and mental challenges, requiring participants to endure pain and test their limits of strength and endurance.
Reference reading Linde and Downey “The Encultured Brain” , Sacks “Awakenings”, Maeda “Special Training” throughout paper
explore a range of questions:
How should “Extreme” transformation be defined in the context of USA heroin users transitioning into ultramarathoners? What social value and valence should be applied to individuals and behaviors fitting this transformative journey?
How do extreme sports in their particular historical and cultural contexts (USA heroin users turning to marathons) shape individual subjectivity and experience, and how do different embodied cultural models shape this in the context of the sports praxis?
What motivations drive USA heroin users to engage in the extreme transformation into ultramarathoners, often involving risky or life-threatening behavior?
How do biological and neurobiological limits intersect in extreme behaviors? Use themes from Linde and Downey “The Encultured Brain” or Sacks “Awakenings”
Understanding the psychological and neurological aspects of addiction and how it transforms into the mental state of an ultramarathon runner. Explore the psychological processes, coping mechanisms, and changes in consciousness that occur during this transformation. Use themes from Linde and Downey “The Encultured Brain” or Sacks “Awakenings”
How do cultural ideologies, structural determinants, behavioral practices, and individual motivations and experiences influence the transformation of USA heroin users into ultramarathoners?
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