Interdisciplinary Initiative: School of Tourism

Researchers of humanising care theory in BU’s Centre for Qualitative Research are working with academics in the School of Tourism on two collaborative projects.

Humanisation and dehumanisation in high performance sport

Throughout their careers in high performance (HP) sport, elite athletes experience unique pressures, challenges and rewards.  The notion that sport automatically conveys physical, psychological and social benefits is being increasingly challenged, as threats to wellbeing are considered to elevate with HP athletes’ greater investment in sport (Coakley, 2004; Fraser-Thomas and Cote, 2007; Gervis and Dunn, 2004; Beamish and Ritchie, 2006). In a study into the experiences of HP athletes’, Wrisberg (1996) concluded that quality of life was low for many athletes; yet such negative aspects of participation are generally overlooked within academic literature. As we know sport per se is neither good nor bad but has the potential to elicit myriad experiences and it is through understanding those experiences, both positive and negative, that we can learn to develop and advance praxis.  It is proposed here, that it is only when the athlete is considered as a whole person and their humanness recognized that s/he is most likely to thrive and flourish within and beyond sport.

Emma Kavanagh from BU’s School of Tourism and Dr Abbe Brady from the University of Gloucestershire are undertaking work to introduce the values framework proposed by Todres et al (2009) for recognising practices associated with humanisation and dehumanisation in HP sport and make a case for the importance of understanding the athlete as a whole person and the need to promote humanisation in and through HP sport.  To date we have presented at the ICSEMIS Olympic conference 2012 and the British Philosophy of Sport conference 2013.  We are presenting at the ICCE Global Coaches Conference in Durban in September and have written a paper introducing the framework.

Dwelling- Mobility Theory in Sport Research

Dr Joanne Mayoh and Dr Ian Jones from BU’s School of Tourism are currently applying Dwelling- Mobility Theory (Todres & Galvin, 2010) to help explore how lifeworld philosophy could become more central in leading sport research. In line with this theory, our work considers how sport can provide a sense of dwelling, mobility, and dwelling-mobility within each of six lifeworld dimensions: temporarily; spatiality; embodiment; inter-subjectivity; identity and mood. Moving forward, we also plan to use this theory to explore how sport can facilitate existential possibilities for wellbeing for dis-engaged or disembodied individuals. Furthermore, we are also interested in discovering how this theory can be applied to understand how sports fandom and physical activity engagement can help provide wellbeing experiences.