Take a deep breath: Asthma, sporting embodiment and ‘auditory work’

Allen-Collinson, Jacquelyn and Owton, Helen (2014). Take a deep breath: Asthma, sporting embodiment and ‘auditory work’. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 49(5) pp. 592–608.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1012690212463918


There has been a veritable efflorescence of interest in sporting embodiment in recent years, including more phenomenologically inspired sociological analyses. A sociology of the senses is, however, a very recent sub-discipline, which provides an interesting new dimension to studies of sporting embodiment, focusing inter alia upon the sensory elements of ‘somatic work’: the ways in which we go about making sense of our senses within a socio-cultural (and sub-cultural) framework. The present article contributes to a developing sociological-phenomenological empirical corpus of literature by addressing the lived experience of asthma in non-élite sports participants. Despite the prevalence of asthma and exercise-induced asthma/bronchoconstriction, there is a distinct lacuna in terms of qualitative research into living with asthma, and specifically in relation to sports participation. Here we focus upon the aural dimension of asthma experiences, examining the role of ‘auditory attunement’ and ‘auditory work’ in sporting embodiment.

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