‘Doing’ competitive swimming: Exploring the skilled practices of the competitive swimming lifeworld

  • Gareth McNarry, Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson, Adam B Evans
  • International Review for the Sociology of Sport, January 2020, SAGE Publications
  • DOI: 10.1177/1012690219894939

Competitive swimming in the UK - exploring the practices of 'doing' swimming

Photo by Artem Verbo on Unsplash

Photo by Artem Verbo on Unsplash

What is it about?

Based on an in-depth ethnographic study of in the UK, this article explores the 'how' of competitive swimming. Despite a developing literature on various facets of sporting embodiment, there is currently a real lack of in-depth analyses of actually ‘doing’ sporting activities. In this article we address that gap by drawing on a developing theoretical literature in sociological phenomenology to investigate a particular physical-cultural domain. Responding to calls to explore the domain of ‘body pedagogics’, we investigate the embodied work involved in the skilled practice of ‘doing’ and learning how to ‘do’ competitive swimming. This embodied work plays a key part in the swimmers’ ability to inhabit the competitive swimming lifeworld. These processes are complex, demanding practical experimentation, discovery, and the ability constantly to adapt to changes in the environment and the swimmer’s own corporeality.

Why is it important?

Despite a developing literature on various facets of sporting embodiment, there is currently a real lack of in-depth analyses of actually ‘doing’ sporting activities. In this article we address that gap in investigating how exactly competitive swimming is 'done' and produced between members of this specific sporting culture.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1012690219894939

The following have contributed to this page: Professor Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson and Gareth McNarry