Ramadan Fasting and Competitive Sports: Psychological Adaptation within Socio-cultural Context

Jolly Roy, Rabindarjeet Singh, Anaurene Roy, Shazarina Hamidan


The article examines the influence of socio-cultural practices of Ramadan fasting in competitive sports and adaptation pathway of the athletes. The study describes how the socio-cultural context acts as the social “panopticon” and explains the adaptation pathways among Muslim archers. Foucauldian concept explains individual actions and behaviors within social and cultural settings, and adaptation pathways during Ramadan fasting. Eleven elite Malaysian Muslim archers participated in an open ended interview to identify individual experiences of competing in high level sports while engaging in Ramadan fasting. Relevant quotes were extracted to identify means and methods leading to a pathway toward adaptation. The inductively identified pathway viz. understanding of the context, control and adjustment, willpower and self enhancement, belonging and gravitating, trust and support culminates in the dimension of adaptation. The study highlights how cultural and societal influences have a bearing on actions, behaviors, and decisions of competitive athletes.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/ijps.v4n4p55

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International Journal of Psychological Studies   ISSN 1918-7211 (Print)   ISSN 1918-722X (Online)

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