Electronic Theses and Dissertations


Running Identities and Interaction Ritual Chains

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Sociology

First Advisor

John Sonnett

Second Advisor

Gary Long

Third Advisor

Ross Haenfler


This thesis links two theories, Interaction Ritual Chains (IRC) with Identity Control Theory (ICT), through a multi-method study of group training programs for beginning runners. First, group training programs are identified as IRCs. Second, we see that IRCs produce identities within individuals which reflect the IRC's activities and its group members. Third, we look at how IRCs of varied strengths produce identities of varied strengths. Fourth, we compare different types of group training programs and their abilities to develop identities. Finally, we conclude that IRCs are mechanisms which individuals are able to use as part of the self-verification process.

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