A purported key mechanism of action in most mind–body movement approaches is the maturation and development of bodily awareness. This is an experiential learning process with its own phenomenology, underlying neurological processes, and challenges for scientific study. This report focuses on the assessment of changes in bodily awareness, which is of key importance for the documentation of this learning process for both research and clinical application. Objective assessments requiring lab equipment are briefly reviewed. Qualitative assessments can be performed by interviews, focus groups, and second-person observation of movement performance. In addition, systematically developed self-report questionnaires have become available in recent years, have undergone extensive validation, and are presented here.
Timothy W. Cacciatore, Patrick M. Johnson, and Rajal G. Cohen
The Alexander technique (AT) has been practiced for over 125 years. Despite evidence of its clinical utility, a clear explanation of how AT works is lacking, as the foundational science needed to test the underlying ideas has only recently become available. The authors propose that the core changes brought about by Alexander training are improvements in the adaptivity and distribution of postural tone, along with changes in body schema, and that these changes underlie many of the reported benefits. They suggest that AT alters tone and body schema via spatial attention and executive processes, which in turn affect low-level motor elements. To engage these pathways, AT strategically engages attention, intention, and inhibition, along with haptic communication. The uniqueness of the approach comes from the way these elements are woven together. Evidence for the contribution of these elements is discussed, drawing on direct studies of AT and other relevant modern scientific literature.
Kellen Jamil Northcutt, Kayla Henderson, and Kaylee Chicoski
The purpose of this study was to understand the symbolic messaging in hip-hop music as it relates to the lived experiences and realities of Black Americans in the United States. The study examined the song and music video titled “The Story of O.J.,” by hip-hop artist Jay-Z to gain a better understanding of how Jay-Z interpreted the impact of Black Americans’ lived experiences in the United States on their identity and ability to progress economically and socially, regardless of social standing, within subcultures such as sport. Employing a content analysis method, data were collected and analyzed using critical race theory. The results of the analysis of lyrical and video data identified three major themes: (a) battle with Blackness, (b) economic enslavement and financial freedom, and (c) systematic subjugation.
Kathy Babiak and Stacy-Lynn Sant
Professional athletes are increasingly engaged in social impact efforts via charitable endeavors. Despite seemingly good intentions in these efforts, the media’s representation of athlete philanthropy varies widely. This study examines how discourses of athlete charity are represented in U.S. media coverage. Over 100 newspaper articles were obtained for the period of 2005–2017. The authors conducted a qualitative analysis which consisted of attribute coding for basic article characteristics, identification of both framing and reasoning devices, and deductive coding to identify generic media frames. The authors present an adapted frame matrix highlighting the salient frames in media coverage of athlete philanthropy. Our results show that athlete charitable efforts are related to a personal or emotional connection or linked to an economic perspective around philanthropy. A third frame reflected a moral underpinning to athletes’ charitable work. The authors discuss managerial implications for teams and leagues that provide support for athletes’ charitable work, as well as for the athletes themselves.
This article offers a consideration of physical activity within the contexts of social movement philosophies, decision making, strategies, and tactics through an examination of the 1986 Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament. Drawing from interviews with twenty activists on the Great Peace March, the author argues that physicality and endurance actions—literally, but also symbolically—signify particular meanings of movement for social movements, such as persistence, focus, and determination, to stretch sociopolitical limits and boundaries. Participants endeavor to accomplish difficult physical challenges and maintain the solidarity of their communities to analogize the coming into existence of equally extraordinary visions of social or political transformation. Physical and symbolic expressions of what the author terms “endurance activism” sustained the marchers’ vision of community and the survival of their organization. The article encourages sport historians to use a wider framework to interpret the links between physical activity, social activism, and oppositional movements.
MacIntosh Ross and Kevin B. Wamsley
On July 27, 1859, “Canada” Kate Clark met two Americans, Nellie Stem and Mary Dwyer, for a pair of prize fights in Fort Erie, Canada West. Beginning their adventure in Buffalo, New York, they rowed their way across the Niagara River to the fighting grounds in the British colony. Like pugilists before them, they stripped to the waist to limit potential grappling in battle. Both the journey and pre-fight fight preparations were tried and true components of mid-nineteenth century prize fighting. Although the press, and later historians, overwhelmingly associated such performances with male combatants, women were indeed active in Canadian pugilistic circles, settling scores, testing their mettle, and displaying their fistic abilities both pre- and post-Confederation. In this article, we begin to untangle the various threads of female pugilism, situating these athletes and performers within the broader literature on both boxing and women's sport in Canada. By examining media reports of female boxers—both in sparring and prize fighting—we hope to provide a historiographic foundation for further discussions of early female pugilism, highlighting the various ways these women upheld and challenged the notion of the “new woman” in Canada.
Landy Di Lu and Kathryn L. Heinze
New sport policies often prompt organizations in the field to alter their structures and processes. Little is known, however, about the tactics of those leading institutional change around sport policy. To address this gap, the authors draw on the concept of institutional entrepreneurship—the activities of actors who leverage resources to create institutional change. Using a qualitative case study approach, the authors examine how two coalitions that served as institutional entrepreneurs in Washington and Oregon created and passed the first youth sport concussion legislation in the United States. The analysis of this study reveals that these coalitions (including victims’ families, sport organizations, advocacy groups, and concussion specialists) engaged in political, technical, and cultural activities through the use of specific tactics that allowed them to harness expertise and resources and generate support for the legislation. Furthermore, the findings of this study suggest a sequencing to these activities, captured in a model of institutional entrepreneurship around sport policy.