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Empowering swimmers and their bodies in and through research


McMahon, J and Penney, D, Empowering swimmers and their bodies in and through research, Qualitative research in sport, exercise and health, 3, (2) pp. 130-151. ISSN 2159-676X (2011) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2011 Taylor & Francis.

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DOI: doi:10.1080/2159676x.2011.572176


This paper critically examines methodological issues associated with a research project that sought to explore three athletes’ experiences in the elite and sub-elite sporting culture of Australian swimming. Discussion centres on four considerations that were central to research methodology and specifically pursues the empowerment of participants and their bodies in the research process. The considerations were (i) to foreground the swimmers’ voice/s in the research, giving them the centre stage as data and in reporting; (ii) to achieve and maintain highly collaborative relations throughout the research process; (iii) to enable the reader to take on and read from the positions and perspectives of the participants, and (iv) to acknowledge and enable the realisation of the emancipatory potential of the research. Key decisions in relation to the methodological framework, research process, research relations and presentational format are discussed in the light of these considerations. Strategies employed at various points in the research process are identified as critical to achieving participant empowerment and the emancipatory emphasis that was desired. Attention is particularly drawn to the processes of generating stories and positioning these as primary data; the way in which the collaborative production of narrative episodes enabled the participants to gain some clarity in relation to their lived experiences; and efforts to ensure that participatory democracy was reflected through all phases of the research process…

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Other education
Research Field:Other education not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Other education and training
Objective Field:Other education and training not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:McMahon, J (Dr Jennifer McMahon)
ID Code:76248
Year Published:2011
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2012-03-02
Last Modified:2014-12-21

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