Atmospheres of pleasure & danger: sociological phenomenology & women’s sporting embodiment

Allen-Collinson, Jacquelyn (2015) Atmospheres of pleasure & danger: sociological phenomenology & women’s sporting embodiment. In: Atmospheres Conference, 1-2 July 2015, University of Manchester.

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To date, in-depth studies of the sensory atmospheric dimensions of women’s sporting/exercise embodiment remain sparse, particularly those employing a feminist and/or sociological phenomenological perspective (Allen-Collinson, 2011; Allen-Collinson & Hockey, 2015) and addressing those senses beyond the ‘Western’ classic sensorium, such as the senses of heat (Allen-Collinson & Owton, 2014). This paper posits feminist sociological-phenomenology as offering a powerful lens through which to explore the sensuous, richly-textured, lived-body experiences of women’s physical activity in outdoor environments. Here, as a distance running-woman, I focus particularly on the shifting experiences of atmospheres of pleasure and danger encountered whilst training in ‘public’ spaces, both urban and remote rural.
Drawing on the findings of a 3-year autoethnographic and autophenomenographic research project on women’s distance running, I explore the sensory dimensions of outdoor running ambience, including atmospheres of threat, and the ways in which the nexus of structure and agency is played out and deeply corporeally ‘lived’ in the female sporting and exercising body. Feminist phenomenology combines two powerful theoretical and methodological traditions, and offers an insightful way into the portrayal and analysis of those structures of experience that sometimes ‘feel’ pre-reflective and beyond words. Some of the challenges of representing these kinds of nebulous, ‘grasped’ at experiences of fleeting atmospheric changes are also considered in the paper.
Allen-Collinson, J (2011) Feminist phenomenology and the woman in the running body, Sport, Ethics & Philosophy, 5 (3): 287-302.

Allen-Collinson, J and Owton, H (2014) Intense embodiment: senses of heat in women’s running and boxing, Body & Society. Online early.

Allen-Collinson, J and Hockey, J (2015) From a certain point of view: sensory phenomenological envisionings of running space and place, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 44 (1): 63-83.

Keywords:Sociology, Embodiment, Sporting embodiment, Phenomenology, Sociological phenomenology, The senses, Sport, Distance running, Women, Atmosphere
Subjects:L Social studies > L300 Sociology
L Social studies > L610 Social and Cultural Anthropology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Sport and Exercise Science
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ID Code:18100
Deposited On:30 Jul 2015 12:30

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