The Joy of Movement

Research output: Contribution to conference without a publisher/journalAbstractResearchpeer-review


Sub theme 4: Social-Emotional Learning through Physical Activity and SportSport, PE and leisure time physical activities has historically been legitimized by a range of educational benefits (Bailey et al., 2009) and this has been reinforced by a growing number of reviews that emphasize the positive impact that movement activities have on human wellbeing, learning etc.. Characteristically, many of these studies instrumentalize movement and some even claim that feeling movement pleasure could be counterproductive to the objectives of PE and that it trivializes physical activity (Whitehead, 1988). The heavily instrumentalization (of the discourse) of movement calls for refinement. A language that also accommodate the existentialistic qualities of movement is needed. The purpose with this presentation is to focus on the essence of movement by qualifying the understanding of the joy of movement. The presentation will contain a phenomenological inspired analysis of movement pleasure and address questions like: How is the joy of movement to be understood? Is the joy of movement a volatile existential phenomenon or is based on embodied habits (Bourdieu, 1977; Stevens, 2017)? How does the joy of movement relate to immersion and variation, mastery of skills, manifest togetherness (Bauman, 1995) etc.?Pleasure, emotions and affective aspects of movement, sport and PE is often mentioned as the motivation for participating in physical activities, in official documents or as the purpose for PE - but these aspects are rarely elaborated. The study contributes by elaborating on the phenomenon of joy of movement, and by offering a language for practitioners, policy makers and researchers to talk about and ideally prioritize this existentialistic dimension of movement activities.LiteratureBailey, R., Armour, K., Kirk, D., Jess, M., Pickup, I., & Sandford, R. (2009). The educational benefits claimed for physical education and school sport: an academic review. Research Papers in Education, 24(1), 1–27., Z. (1995). Life in fragments. Essays in Postmodern Morality. Oxford: Blackwell.Bourdieu, P. (1977). Outline of a Theory of Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Stevens, S. (2017). The joy of movement in physical education: The enfleshed body. University of Canterbury.Whitehead, J. 1988. Why children take part. The Isis Journal 1: 23–31
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event2019 AIESEP International Conference - Adelphi Universit, New York, United States
Duration: 19 Jun 201922 Jun 2019


Conference2019 AIESEP International Conference
LocationAdelphi Universit
CountryUnited States
CityNew York


  • movement

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