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Materialising bodies: there is nothing more material than a socially constructed body.
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Forskningsgruppen för pedagogik, idrott och fritidskultur.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0638-7176
2014 (English)In: Sport, Education and Society, ISSN 1357-3322, E-ISSN 1470-1243, Vol. 19, no 5, 637-651 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Over the last one of two decades, researchers within the physical education (PE) and sport pedagogy research frequently use the concept ‘the material body’. An initial purpose of this article is to explore what a concept of a ‘material body’ might mean. What other bodies are there? Who would dispute the materiality of bodies? I suggest that the use of a concept as ‘the material body’ suggests a hesitation before the radicalism of the linguistic turn in the sense that the concept ‘discourse’ does not include a material dimension. In this way ‘the material body’ relates to an interpretation of ‘the socially (or discursively) constructed body’ as void of matter. A further purpose with the article is to re-inscribe matter in the concept of ‘discourse’. This is done by way of discussing what theorists like Michel Foucault and, in particular, Judith Butler, has to say about the materiality of the body. In their writings, discourse should not be limited to spoken and/or written language. Rather, discourse is understood in terms of actions and events that create meanings—that matters. One conclusion of the article is that it is important to problematise the mundane view of discourse as ‘verbal interchange’ because it reinforces the promise of an objective knowledge that will eventually shed light on the ‘real’ body and the mysteries of sexual difference, what its origins are, what causes it. Another conclusion is that the PE and sport pedagogy research should pay less attention to the body as an object (what it ‘is’), and pay more attention to how the body matters, and e.g. how movements make bodies matter.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 19, no 5, 637-651 p.
Keyword [en]
Poststructuralism, Social construction, Physical education, The material body, Discourse, Materialisation
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Research subject
Social Sciences/Humanities
URN: urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-3440DOI: 10.1080/13573322.2012.722550OAI: diva2:748537
Available from: 2014-09-19 Created: 2014-09-17 Last updated: 2015-12-22Bibliographically approved

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Larsson, Håkan
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