‘Getting it into the body’: understanding skill acquisition through Merleau-Ponty and the embodied practice of dance

Purser, Aimie Christianne Elizabeth. (2017) ‘Getting it into the body’: understanding skill acquisition through Merleau-Ponty and the embodied practice of dance. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health . ISSN 2159-6778

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Abstract

This paper responds to calls across the sociological, philosophical and psychological dimensions of Sports Studies to attend to the promise of phenomenology as an approach to understanding the complexities and nuances of embodied athletic experience. The work of the philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty is drawn upon to elucidate expertise through a non-dualist framework for understanding skill acquisition and bodily knowledge in sport and movement cultures. In particular, I explore how theoretical concepts about practice might actually play out in practice by bringing the notions of tacit practical knowledge and the sedimentation of habit that Merleau-Ponty emphasises in his theorisation of the corporeal schema into conversation with qualitative data from in-depth interviews with dance practitioners. The paper engages with dancers’ accounts of learning, remembering and performing patterns of movement and, in particular, with the dancers’ notions of having or getting a movement ‘in/into the body’, exploring resonances between these experiences and Merleau-Ponty’s conceptualisation of the habit-body and of incorporating behaviours into the corporeal schema.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health on 14/09/2017, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/2159676X.2017.1377756
Keywords: Corporeal schema, Habit, Skill, Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Sociology and Social Policy
Identification Number: 10.1080/2159676X.2017.1377756
Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2017 07:42
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2017 18:27
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/46538

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