Breathing in life

Phenomenological perspectives on sport and exercise

Authored by: Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson

Routledge Handbook of Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise

Print publication date:  September  2016
Online publication date:  September  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138792487
eBook ISBN: 9781315762012
Adobe ISBN: 9781317646914


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Some critics have accused philosophical phenomenology of being dry, abstract and ‘airy fairy’, whereas for many phenomenologists, it is anything but – revealing ‘earthy’, sweaty, fleshy, sensuous corporealities. The purpose of this chapter is to explore some of the ways in which phenomenology as methodology has challenged, and can be applied to challenge, taken-for-granted assumptions, and to generate rich, evocative and detailed insights into the domain of sport and exercise studies. Although usually termed the phenomenological ‘method’, this is meant as much more than a particular method, such as interviewing or documentary analysis, and more as a Weltanschauung: a whole way of seeing (and otherwise sensing) the world. The chapter addresses: 1) what is phenomenology? - a brief overview for those unfamiliar with the principal tenets; 2) phenomenology as ‘method’? - a description of the phenomenological ‘method’/methodology; 3) why use phenomenology? – its strengths and weaknesses; and 4) future directions for phenomenology: an example of a new empirical phenomenological form: autophenomenography (Allen-Collinson, 2011).

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