The joy of movement in physical education: the enfleshed body

Type of content
Theses / Dissertations
Publisher's DOI/URI
Thesis discipline
Health Sciences
Degree name
Doctor of Philosophy
University of Canterbury
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Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Stevens, Susannah

Joy, happiness and fun are words that are often associated with physical education. However, a paucity of research on affective practice in movement has hindered diverse understandings of movement pleasure. This thesis therefore, addresses the research question ‘How is the joy of movement experienced in physical education?’ A traditional hermeneutical interpretation has been used, in place of a traditional methodology, to reveal findings of the ‘enfleshed’ body, the institutionalisation of movement and aberrations of spontaneity and playfulness in physical education. The thesis uses two dance moves, the ‘box step’ and the ‘dab’ to interpret these findings. Epicurean theory is used to understand pleasure and pain, the body and the void, and how ontology plays an important role in the joy of movement. Epicureanism is not just used as a guiding theoretical framework, but as part of the fabric of the thesis. Findings of playfulness, a disruption to performative culture, and a desire for expression in movement for pleasure, have led to a suggestion of a pedagogical framework. This framework aims to challenge institutionalised movement experiences, prioritise ontological structures of understanding, and liberate the ‘self’ from movement oppression. This pedagogy, called Enfleshed pedagogy, would allow a social action of ‘self,’ centred on disrupting the notion of the ‘Other’ in movement, celebrating fleshly difference, and prioritising sense-perception.

Ngā upoko tukutuku/Māori subject headings
ANZSRC fields of research
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