In the past two decades, scholarly interests in embodied knowledge, bodily knowledge, body knowledge, corporeal knowledge and somatic knowledge have covered a wide and diverse range of topics in phenomenological philosophy, cognitive sciences, feminist studies, sociology, anthropology, education and arts. Even if there is an increasingly widespread understanding of “body consciousness”, whether it is understood as a social or a biological phenomenon, or existing simultaneously in culture and nature, theoretical formulations of bodily knowledge has remained elusive.
This research explores processes of bodily knowledge formation, by making a difference between mere body awareness or information of sensations (e.g. proprioseption) and more conscious practicing bodywork and movement techniques to produce knowledge of the body in social contexts. We assume that bodily knowledge formation can be related to all kind of physical activities, but all activities and training do not offer equally supportive environment for embodied reflection and intensifying body awareness. Using ethnographic research material and interviews in fitness instruction and dance teaching, our purpose is to develop theoretical understanding of bodily knowledge, to describe how information of sensations can become bodily knowing. The project is funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture in Finland.
Project director: PhD researcher Jaana Parviainen
Sponsor: Ministry of Education and Culture
Researchers: MA researcher Johanna Aromaa (University of Oulu) & MA researcher Suvi Lehtonen (University of Tampere)