Theorizing the Moving Body in Competitive Sport

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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This article examines an area that has received surprisingly little attention within the sociology of sport literature: the role of human movement and the ways in which it can be understood and valued. Drawing on the work of Pierre Bourdieu and Judith Butler, in this article, the authors have raised the possibility of sporting “movement capital.” The authors argued that rules and regulations produce and legitimize particular types of movements, which are then reinforced through institutionalized athlete development practices and able to be converted to symbolic capital. However, movements might also be valued as demonstrating particular traits and/or invoking emotional reactions, and be recognized as familiar. The authors concluded that, through identifying the connections between Bourdieu’s habitus and Butler’s performativity, they can understand how the value of movement is constantly in-flux, constantly regenerating as athletes imperfectly produce and reproduce recognizable movements as part of their sporting habitus.

The authors are with the Faculty of Environment, Society and Design, Lincoln University, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Kerr (Roslyn.Kerr@lincoln.ac.nz) is corresponding author.
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