(Per)forming identity in the mind-sport bridge: Self, partnership and community

Samantha Punch*, Zoe Russell, Beth Cairns

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Mind-sports are a relatively under-explored area within the sociology of sport, especially the internationally played game of bridge. In this qualitative sociological study of tournament bridge, we examine the formation and performance of elite bridge player identities through interviews with 52 US and European players. Drawing on symbolic interactionism and Goffman specifically, the paper explores elite players’ social interaction across frontstage and backstage contexts, considering the performativity of self, impression management and values of character. The paper advances the sociology of mind-sport, contributing new insights into how identity is (per)formed by elite players as embodied social interaction within the bridge interaction order. We propose a recursive and layered model of identities across the self, partnership and community. The partnership element is particularly unique to the bridge sports world, which represents an interesting case for the sociological study of international mind-sports.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)804-822
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Review for the Sociology of Sport
Issue number6
Early online date27 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • bridge
  • Goffman
  • identities
  • mind-sport
  • social interaction


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