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Title:A social phenomenological study of physical contact in women's varsity basketball
Author(s):Rail, Genevieve
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Loy, John W.
Department / Program:Kinesiology and Community Health
Discipline:Kinesiology and Community Health
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Physical
Sociology, General
Abstract:This study examines physical contacts, as they are experienced by women competing in varsity basketball. The interpretive and social phenomenological method offered by Denzin (1984) is used and five methodological phases are followed: (a) deconstruction, where the existing literature concerning the phenomenon is reviewed and deconstructed; (b) capture, where multiple instances of the phenomenon are obtained; (c) reduction, where the essential properties of the phenomenon are disclosed; (d) construction, where the phenomenal structures are put together to construct the phenomenon in an interpreted form; and (e) contextualization, where the phenomenon is situated back in the lives of the individuals. According a primary importance to the "lived experiences" of participants, the interpretation and understanding of physical contact is based on the content analysis of in-depth, open-ended interviews with members (N = 14) of a women's varsity basketball team competing in Canada, and the detailed analysis of game sequences containing physical contacts in which these players are involved.
Two main types of physical contact emerge from the analyses: (a) playful contact, in which a player tenders a physical action in a playful manner; and (b) violent contact, in which a player attempts to recuperate, through the use of emotional and physical force, something that has been lost or taken away from her self. The "essence" of physical contact is identified as the self and emotionality. Four essential properties are also identified: (a) the natural attitudes toward physical contact; (b) the interpretive frames to categorize interactants; (c) the display of emotional self-definitions through symbolic interaction; and (d) the interactional orientation toward communication or alienation.
Emotions and the self are considered as foundations for the construction of the physical contact phenomenon, and upon them are laid three essential structures: (a) the phenomenological field, or the player's internalized structure of meanings and feelings; (b) the body, through which she absorbs or inflicts a physical contact; and (c) the symbolic interaction involved in the physical contact. With the use of thickly contextualized materials, physical contact is interpreted and described both as an event in the world that penetrates the player and reaches her self, and as an embodied emotion that reveals the player's self, meaning, and interpretation of the world.
In the conclusion, it is argued that physical contacts, as expressions of a wide variety of emotions, provide occasions for the unfolding of a player's real self and meaning. Through multiple experiences of physical contact, she learns not only her emotions and how to feel inside them, but who she is and who she can be.
Issue Date:1990
Rights Information:Copyright 1990 Rail, Genevieve
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9026297
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9026297

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