Gender and the ageing body in physical cultures: an embodied approach.

Wellard, I. (2013) Gender and the ageing body in physical cultures: an embodied approach. In: Gender in Physical Culture: the 2013 meeting transnational working group for the study of gender and sport, 13-14 December 2013, University of Gothenburg.

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Taking part in a physical or sporting activity incorporates a range of corporeal and emotional sensations that are interwoven with the individual body as well as the social context in which the experience occurs. In my attempts to explore the contrasting ways in which sport and physical activity are experienced I have incorporated a reflexive lens in order to shape the focus for empirical investigations. Much of this has been influenced by an awareness of the centrality of a body most often read through gender, sexuality and ability. However, with the physical onset of middle-age, the context of the ageing body has increasingly influenced not only my engagement, but also my interpretation of sporting experience, although this has not necessarily diminished the ways that I am able to enjoy participation.

In this paper, I explore the processes through which a physical activity is experienced, in an attempt to qualitatively account for the multitude of individual and external influences that determine whether participation is considered enjoyable, and, ultimately, worth doing again. This paper incorporates the concept of body-reflexive practices, as initially described by Connell (2005), in order to explore the notion of body reflexive pleasures (Wellard 2013) which incorporate an acknowledgment of the physiological, psychological and sociological factors which contribute to a sporting activity being considered pleasurable or not.

By adopting an embodied approach to the gendered and ageing body, the intention is to challenge many of the restricted formulations that invariably determinewho can or cannot ‘do’ sport and physical activity.

Connell, R. (2005) Masculinities, Cambridge: Polity.
Wellard, I. (2013) Sport, Fun and Enjoyment: an embodied approach. London: Routledge.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: pre Nov-2014 > Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > Sport Science, Tourism and Leisure
Depositing User: Dr Ian Wellard
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2014 14:02
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2014 14:12

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00