1st Edition

Skill Transmission, Sport and Tacit Knowledge A Sociological Perspective

By Honorata Jakubowska Copyright 2017
    128 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    128 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    Teaching the skills necessary to play sport depends partly on transmitting knowledge verbally, yet non-verbal or tacit knowledge also has an important role. A coach may tell a young athlete to 'move more dynamically', but it is undoubtedly easier to demonstrate with the body itself how this should be done. Skills such as developing a 'feel for the water' cannot simply be transmitted verbally; they are embodied in the tacit knowledge acquired from practice, repetition and experience.

    This is the first sociological study of the transmission of skills through tacit knowledge in sport. Drawing on philosophy, sociology and theories of embodiment, it presents original research gathered from qualitative empirical studies of young athletes. It discusses the concept of tacit knowledge in relation to motor skills transmission in a variety of sports, including athletics, swimming and judo, and examines the methodological possibilities of studying tacit knowledge, as well as its challenges and limitations.

    This is fascinating reading for all those with an interest in the sociology of sport, theories of embodiment, or skill acquisition and transmission.


    1. Embodied Knowledge and the Limits of its Verbalisation

    2. Exploring the Process of Embodied Sports Knowledge Transmission

    3. Methodology for Studying Tacit Knowledge in the Field of Sports

    4. Transmission of Tacit Knowledge

    5. Limits of Tacit Knowledge Transmission and of its Sociological Exploration


    Appendix A

    Appendix B


    Honorata Jakubowska works as a professor in the Institute of Sociology at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland. Her main research areas are the sociology of the body and embodiment, the sociology of sport, and gender studies. She is the author of two award-winning monographs in Polish and the co-editor of the Sociology of Sport Reader, and has written 60 articles and book chapters. She is the principal investigator of two research projects financed by the Polish National Science Centre.