Grasping the Phenomenology of Sporting Bodies
University of Exeter
International Review for the Sociology of Sport
The last two decades have witnessed a vast expansion in research and writing on the sociology of the body and on issues of embodiment. Indeed, both sociology in general and the sociology of sport specifically have well heeded the long-standing and vociferous calls `to bring the body back in' to social theory. It seems particularly curious therefore that the sociology of sport has to date addressed this primarily at a certain abstract, theoretical level, with relatively few accounts to be found that are truly grounded in the corporeal realities of the lived sporting body; a `carnal sociology' of sport, to borrow Crossley's (1995) expression. To portray and understand more fully this kind of embodied perspective, it is argued, demands engaging with the phenomenology of the body, and this article seeks to contribute to a small but growing literature providing this particular form of `embodied' analysis of the body in sport. Here we identify some useful intellectual resources for developing a phenomenology of sporting experience, specifically its sensory elements, and also subsequently examine the potential for its evocative portrayal and effective analysis via different kinds of textual forms.
Note that this is the postprint version.
International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 2007, 42 (2): 115-131