Taking the fun out of it: the spoiling effects of researching something you love

Rossing, Hilde and Scott, Susie (2016) Taking the fun out of it: the spoiling effects of researching something you love. Qualitative Research, 16 (6). pp. 615-629. ISSN 1468-7941

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This reflexive analysis of two sports ethnographers’ studies of an aerobics class and a swimming pool explores the effects of doing fieldwork on a physical activity that one loves. While using our bodies as phenomenological sites of perception initially created an epistemological advantage, researching the familiarly beloved not only ‘took the fun out of’ the activity, but also more profoundly challenged our ‘exercise identities’. Emulating poor technique, enduring interactional awkwardness, and deep acting role performances, combined to take their toll, so that ‘going native’ became a matter not just of intellectual disadvantage but of ontological destabilisation. Doing activity-based ethnography on something personally special is a double-edged sword: on the one hand elucidating awareness, but on the other depriving the researcher of pleasure and ‘spoiling’ aspects of their identity.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Depositing User: Susie Scott
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2016 09:39
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2017 05:14
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/60022

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