Narratives of and from a running-woman’s body: feminist phenomenological perspectives on running embodiment

Allen-Collinson, Jacquelyn (2013) Narratives of and from a running-woman’s body: feminist phenomenological perspectives on running embodiment. Leisure Studies Association Newsletter (95). pp. 41-48. ISSN UNSPECIFIED

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Abstract

The female sporting body has been studied in myriad ways over the past 25-30 years, including via a range of feminist frameworks (Hall 1996; Markula 2003; Hargreaves 2007). Despite this developing corpus, studies of sport only rarely engage in depth with the ‘flesh’ (Merleau-Ponty 1969) of the sweating, panting, pulsating, lived female sporting body (Allen-Collinson 2009) and a more corporeally-grounded, phenomenological perspective can enrich our understandings of women’s sporting ‘bodywork’. Here, I suggest that employing a sociological and feminist phenomenological framework can provide a powerful lens through which to explore narratives of the subjective, richly-textured, lived-body experiences of sport and physical activity. Phenomenology of course offers only one of a multiplicity of avenues to investigate sporting embodiment, and here I offer just a small glimpse of its possibilities. To date, sports studies utilising a phenomenological theoretical framework remain surprisingly under-developed, as Kerry and Armour (2000) highlighted over a decade ago, and which largely remains the case (Allen-Collinson 2009), including in relation to phenomenology’s fascinating off-shoot, ethnomethodology (Burke et al. 2008; Hockey and Allen-Collinson, 2013). Further, as Fisher (2000) notes, the significance of the interaction between phenomenology and feminism has only relatively recently begun to be explored. It seems timely, therefore, to address this intriguing, potentially productive, but sometimes uneasy nexus, focusing in this instance upon narratives of female running embodiment.

Keywords:Sociology, sport, Sociology of Sport, sociological phenomenology, Feminist phenomenology, Distance running
Subjects:L Social studies > L300 Sociology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Sport and Exercise Science
ID Code:10665
Deposited On:05 Jul 2013 10:07

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