Sensing the outdoors: a visual and haptic phenomenology of outdoor exercise embodiment

Allen-Collinson, Jacquelyn and Leledaki, Aspasia (2015) Sensing the outdoors: a visual and haptic phenomenology of outdoor exercise embodiment. Leisure Studies, 34 (4). pp. 457-470. ISSN 0261-4367


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In recent years, there has been a burgeoning of academic interest in exercise embodiment issues, including a developing field of phenomenologically inspired analyses of the lived body experience of physical activity and exercise. Calls have been made for researchers to explore the sensory dimension of such embodiment, and a corpus of sensory ethnographic studies is now beginning to grow, focusing on the ways in which people engage in ‘making sense of the senses’ within a sociocultural framework. This article contributes to a developing body of phenomenological-sociological empirical work on the sensory dimension, by addressing the lived experience of organised physical activities in ‘natural’ outdoor leisure environments. We draw upon the findings from a two-year ethnographic study of a Welsh national physical activity programme, ‘Mentro Allan/Venture Out’, which aimed to increase physical activity levels amongst specific ‘target groups’. Based on fieldwork and on interviews (n = 68) with Programme participants, here our analytic focus is upon the visual and the haptic dimensions of sensory engagement with organised outdoor leisure activities, including experiences of ‘intense embodiment’.

Keywords:Sociology, Sociological phenomenology, phenomenology, The senses, Exercise, Outdoors, Sociology of embodiment, bmjgoldcheck, NotOAChecked
Subjects:L Social studies > L300 Sociology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Sport and Exercise Science
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ID Code:14292
Deposited On:10 Jun 2014 15:35

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