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

Purser, Aimie Christianne Elizabeth

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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.

Citation

Purser, A. C. E. (2018). ‘Getting it into the body’: understanding skill acquisition through Merleau-Ponty and the embodied practice of dance. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 10(3), 318-332. https://doi.org/10.1080/2159676X.2017.1377756

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 6, 2017
Online Publication Date Sep 14, 2017
Publication Date May 27, 2018
Deposit Date Sep 20, 2017
Publicly Available Date Mar 15, 2019
Journal Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health
Print ISSN 2159-676X
Electronic ISSN 2159-6778
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Issue 3
Pages 318-332
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/2159676X.2017.1377756
Keywords Corporeal schema, Habit, Skill, Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology
Public URL http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/46538
Publisher URL https://doi.org/10.1080/2159676X.2017.1377756
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf
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

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





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