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Making the Case for Poetic Representations: An Example in Action

in The Sport Psychologist
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  • 1 University of Exeter
  • | 2 University of Bristol
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As part of the emergence of new writing practices in the social sciences, qualitative researchers have begun to harness the potential of poetic representations as a means of analyzing social worlds and communicating their findings to others. To date, however, this genre has received little attention in sport psychology. The purpose of this article, therefore, is to raise awareness and generate discussion about poetic representations. First, the potential benefits of using this genre are outlined. Next, based on interview data from a study that explored the motivations of elite female golfers, the process of constructing a poetic representation about the experiences of one of the participants is described. The products of this endeavor and the reactions of various audiences to it are then presented. Finally, the issue of judging poetic representations is discussed.

Sparkes is with the Qualitative Research Unit, School of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, Devon EX1 2LU UK. Douglas is with the Dept. of Exercise and Health Sciences, University of Bristol, Clifton, Bristol BS8 1TH UK.

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