18 SES 07, Parallel Paper Session
Parallel Paper Session
Researchers from many different fields have with the help of ‘embodiment’ opposed against classical dualisms and tried to recognize the practical aspects of knowledge. In doing so they have paved the way to understand experience and learning not merely as a mental or conscious activity (Shilling 2007; Loy et al, 2003:347). One dominant approach is phenomenological sociological research (e.g. Waquant 2004; Calhoun & Sennett 2007; Shilling 2007). As a complement to this tradition we will use pragmatism as a point of departure. We ask the question: How can we understand the educative processes involved in embodiment of knowledge? This question points directly at the core of what Chris Shilling has categorized as ‘body pedagogics’. The term has been taken up by several researchers in sociology of the body in recent years and refers to: “the central pedagogic means through which a culture seeks to transmit its main corporeal techniques, skills and dispositions, the embodied experiences associated with acquiring or failing to acquire these attributes, and the actual embodied changes resulting from this process.” (Shilling, 2007:11)
Our way to contribute to this field of research is thus to create knowledge about learning in activities where human beings use body movements, either to train something (projects of body modification and maintenance) or to create mobility (to spatially move). We will focus on the latter and categorize it as embodied mobility practices and learning is here to be conceived of as comprising both content and process. The background to our research is the conclusion made by Hockey and Allen Collinson (2007:127) ”Despite a growing ‘corpus’ of research literature on the sporting body, it appears that the sociology of sport has to date addressed and analyzed its subject primarily at an abstract, theoretical level”. Another reason for our work is the remark made by scholars (Crossley, 2007:81f; Shilling 2010; Pink 2011) that since ‘embodiment’ seems to be too vague to make a good analytical work there is a purported risk that the body is focused at the expense of other important phenomenon like meaning-making and interaction. We do argue along with Crossley (1995; 2004; 2005; 2007) that Marcel Mauss’ concept of ‘body techniques’ help us to solve some of these problems connected with ‘embodiment’, because, ‘body techniques’ is something concrete and researchable that embrace both the biological, material and the social. But Mauss’ sometimes deterministic approach also leaves us with challenges. We need to get at the embodied agency Mauss hints at and recognize how performance is shaped to meet interactive exigencies of specific situations.
To understand learning and education within an embodied mobility practice we will in compliance with this challenge merge the concept of ‘body techniques’ with Dewey’s concept of ‘transaction’. Moreover, we will take Wittgensteins notion of language game into account. Because if we can regard ‘body techniques’ as ‘language game’ we will see that ‘body techniques’ is not merely movements, rather it’s something taking place in, and relying on, specific situations and the purpose of the activity.
Calhoun & Sennett ed. (2007). Practicing Culture. New York: Routledge Crossley, N. (1995). Body Techniques, Agency and Intercorporeality: On Goffman's Relations in Public. Sociology 1995; 29; 133 Crossley, N. (2004). The Circuit Trainer's Habitus: Reflexive Body Techniques and the Sociality of the Workout. Body & Society 2004 10: 37 Crossley, N. (2005). Mapping Reflexive Body Techniques: On Body Modification and Crossley, N. (2007). Researching embodiment by way of ‘body techniques’. The Sociological Review, P. 80-94 Hockey, J. & Allen-Collinson, J. (2007). Grasping the Phenomenology of Sporting Bodies. International Review for the Sociology of Sport 2007 42: 115-131 Loy, John W., Andrews, David L., Rinehart, Robert E. (2003). The Body in Culture and Sport. I: Dunning, Eric & Malcolm, Dominic (2003). Sport – Critical Concepts in Sociology (vol. III). London: Routledge Östman, L. & Öhman, J. (2010). A transactional approach to learning. Paper presented at John Dewey Society, AERA 2010. Pink, Sarah (2011): From embodiment to emplacement: re-thinking competing bodies, senses and spatialities, Sport, Education and Society, 16:3, 343-355 Shilling, C. (2007). Sociology and the Body: Classical Traditions and New Agendas. Introduktion i The sociological Review, Volume 55 Issue S1 Pages 1-18 Shilling, C. (2010): Exploring the society––body––school nexus: theoretical and methodology issues in the study of body pedagogics. Sport, Education and Society, 15:2, 151-167 Wacquant, L. (2004) Body and Soul: Notebooks of an Apprentice Boxer. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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