The corporeal turn toward critical, empirically grounded studies of the body is transforming the way we research physical culture, most evidently in the study of sport. This book brings together original insights on contemporary physical culture from key figures working in a variety of disciplines, offering a wealth of different theoretical and philosophical ways of engaging with the body while never losing site of the material form of the research act itself.
Contributors spanning the disciplines of sociology, anthropology, communications, and sport studies highlight conceptual, methodological, and empirical approaches to the body that include observant-participation, feminist ethnography, autoethnography, physical cultural studies, and phenomenology. They provide vivid case studies of embodied research on topics including basketball, boxing, cycling, dance, fashion modelling and virtual gaming. This international collection not only reflects on the most important recent developments in embodied research practices, but also looks forward to the continuing importance of the body as a focus for research and the possibilities this presents for studies of the active, moving body in physical culture and beyond.
Physical Culture, Ethnography and the Body: Theory, method and praxis is fascinating reading for all those interested in physical cultural studies, the sociology of sport and leisure, physical education or the body.
"Giardina and Donnelly have compiled and crafted a superb collection of essays, which illuminate, probe and critique the place and role of the body in contemporary sport and physical culture. Utilising embodied ethnographic approaches – and offering nuanced expositions of the methodologies, epistemologies, positionalities and politics that underpin them – this book will become required reading for scholars and students in the field. The body, the editors remind us, still matters – critically, these essays identify precisely which bodies matter, and how, where and why." – Daniel Burdsey, Head of Research, School of Sport and Service Management, University of Brighton, UK
"Physical Culture, Ethnography and the Body provides an invaluable resource for ethnographically oriented and interested researchers, and not only those interested in the empirical realm of physical culture. Bringing together a comprehensive collection of key works and discussions written by the leading exponents of their respective ethnographic approaches, this collection elucidates the complexities, contradictions, and concerns implicit within ethnographic practice in general, and focuses on those particularly pertaining to the study of physical culture. Furthermore, Giardina and Donnelly’s considered and insightful curation of this collection brings to light the empirical, methodological, and theoretical diversity of approaches utilized in examining the embodied experiences of physical culture. As such, this book is destined to inform and inspire the next generation of ethnographers of physical culture." – Professor David L. Andrews, Department of Kinesiology, University of Maryland, USA
Section I: Theoretical Movements
1. Sporting embodiment: Sports studies and the (continuing) promise of phenomenology
2. Physical capital and situated action: A new direction for corporeal sociology
3. What is this ‘physical’ in physical cultural studies?
[Michael D. Giardina and Joshua Newman]
4. From embodiment to emplacement: Re-thinking competing bodies, senses, and spatialities
Section II: Methodological Movements
5. Ethnography as precarious work
6. Feminist ethnography and physical culture: Towards reflexive, political, and collaborative methods
[Rebecca Olive and Holly Thorpe]
7. Habitus as topic and tool: Reflections on becoming a prizefighter
8. Moving in the margins: Active urban bodies and the politics of ethnography
[Bryan Clift and Jacob Bustad]
9. The embodied experience: Dance ethnography and the dancing body
Section III: Empirical Movements
10. Methods that move: Exploring young women’s embodied experiences of femininity and exer-games
11. Research on the run: Moving methods and the charity ‘thon’
12. Competing masculinities: South Asian American identity formation in Asian American basketball leagues
13. (Auto)ethnography and cycling
From ethnography and narrative inquiry to participatory action research and digital methods, feminist and poststructural theory to new materialism and onto-epistemologies, serious conversations about the practices, politics and philosophies of qualitative inquiry have never been stronger or more abundant in the field of sport, exercise and health. At the same time, the growth of new critical methodologies has opened up interdisciplinary space for sustained engagement with provocative questions over evidence, knowledge, and research practices. The Qualitative Research in Sport and Physical Activity series is the first of its kind within the field that has as its mandate the necessary advancement of qualitative methodologies and their intersection with theory and practice. Books in the series will develop new and innovative methodologies, serve as ‘how-to’ guides for conducting research, and present empirical research findings. It will serve the growing number of students and academics who promote and utilize qualitative inquiry in university courses, research, and applied practice.