Diving In: Exploring embodiment in the performance swimming lifeworld via becoming, remaining and doing.

McNarry, Gareth and Allen-Collinson, Jacquelyn and Evans, Adam (2019) Diving In: Exploring embodiment in the performance swimming lifeworld via becoming, remaining and doing. In: ISSA World Congress of Sociology of Sport 2019, 24th - 27th April 2019, University of Otago, Dunedin, NZ.

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Diving In: Exploring embodiment in the performance swimming lifeworld via becoming, remaining and doing.
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Abstract

In recent years sporting embodiment has attracted an increasing level of academic attention, including a burgeoning sociological corpus that draws influence from the existential phenomenology of Maurice Merleau-Ponty. This combination of phenomenology and sociology provides a novel framework from which to examine sporting embodiment, and challenges many taken-for granted assumptions and presuppositions regarding the often underexplored, undertheorized ‘mundane’ elements of our sporting experience.

Swimming is one physical culture where embodied experiences have been shown to be core elements of recreational or leisure swimming. Studies that examine the embodied experiences of performance swimming, however, remain sparse, and tend to be limited to critical sociological examinations of gendered relationships or training regimes, which often overlook the intense embodied experiences of training and competing. Utilising ethnographic methods of participant observation and interviews with senior performance swimmers, this study sought to develop a richer and deeper understanding of the performance swimming lifeworld and how a swimmer’s embodied experiences contribute fundamentally to the construction of this lifeworld.

In this paper, we portray some preliminary findings from the study, which cohere around two key themes. The first, ‘Becoming and Belonging’, focuses on the swimmers’ motivations for entering, and their embodied engagement with the aquatic lifeworld. The second, ‘Doing Performance Swimming’, presents the different ways in which the swimming body is central to ‘doing’ performance swimming.

Keywords:Swimming, Lived Experience, Sociological phenomenology
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C600 Sports Science
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Sport and Exercise Science
ID Code:35940
Deposited On:15 May 2019 08:37

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