A malleable body - revelations from an elite Australian swimmer

McMahon, Jenny, and Dinan-Thompson, Maree (2008) A malleable body - revelations from an elite Australian swimmer. ACHPER Healthy Lifestyles Journal, 55 (1). pp. 23-28.

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Abstract

Australian Swimming functions on meritocratic principles as athletes are immersed in a culture that focuses on achievement. Meritocratic principles are accompanied by a technocentric ideology where a 'swimmer body' is a commodity 'viewed as an instrument and object for manipulation' in order to achieve success. This article focuses on swimming as a social practice. The experiences of one of the authors as an Australian Swimming representative reveal how her body was viewed as a malleable object that was trained and manipulated to a perceived ideal for the sake of performance. As a consequence, the author began purging (and complying) her body in an attempt to conform to an idealistic shape set by Australian team managers and coaches and other social regulators. The article adapts Sparkes' personal and academic voice framework for analysis by titling sections 'writing with self' and 'writing with academic voice(s) to demonstrate stepping in and out of the experiences and reflecting on what can be learnt.

Item ID: 5690
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: embodiment; swimmer body; autoethnography
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ISSN: 1445-8918
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2009 05:42
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160809 Sociology of Education @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science > 110699 Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939999 Education and Training not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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