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Sartre, phenomenology and edgework

posted on 2023-06-09, 15:00 authored by James Hardie-BickJames Hardie-Bick
Lyng’s research on ‘edgework’ has proved to be particularly useful for exploring how individuals intentionally negotiate the boundaries that separate order from chaos. Lyng has provided a social-psychological framework for understanding the phenomenological sensations associated with activities that seek to test the limits of human endurance and criminologists have found the literature on edgework relevant for their research. This paper compares ‘edgework’ to Csikszentmihalyi’s research on ‘flow’. I aim to show why Csikszentmihalyi’s research should also be seen as offering important insights in relation to the pleasures and sensations of voluntary risk-taking. In addition to this, I intend to show how Sartre’s early philosophy of self-knowledge and consciousness has the potential to make an important contribution to this literature. Using the philosophy of Sartre to explore some of the unacknowledged similarities between ‘edgework’ and ‘flow’, my overall intention is to highlight the relevance of both perspectives and to widen the current focus of criminological debates concerning high-risk behaviour.


Publication status

  • Published

Presentation Type

  • paper

Event name

CRC Research Seminar Series

Event location

University of Sussex

Event type


Event date

1 December 2017

Department affiliated with

  • Sociology and Criminology Publications

Research groups affiliated with

  • Crime Research Centre Publications

Full text available

  • No

Peer reviewed?

  • Yes

Legacy Posted Date


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