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A/r/tographic inquiry in sport and exercise research: a pilot study examining methodology versatility, feasibility and participatory opportunities


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McMahon, JA ORCID: 0000-0002-1079-8939, MacDonald, A ORCID: 0000-0003-4774-0244 and Owton, H 2017 , 'A/r/tographic inquiry in sport and exercise research: a pilot study examining methodology versatility, feasibility and participatory opportunities' , Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, vol. 9, no. 4 , pp. 403-417 , doi: 10.1080/2159676X.2017.1311279.

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This research paper centres on a pilot study where a/r/tography, an arts-basedmethodology, was implemented into a sport and exercise researchcontext. A/r/tography is yet to be employed in this particular researchcontext; therefore, an emphasis is placed on exploring the versatility andfeasibility of this methodology when applied to the field of sport andexercise. In addition, we explore whether a/r/tography offers anything newand/or unique in comparison to other arts-based research that has alreadybeen conducted in this domain. In the paper that follows, we outline whata/r/tography is; why it could be considered as a methodological approachin sport and exercise research; and how it has been used in other researchdomains such as the social sciences. The remainder of the paper is dedicatedto outlining the method that was undertaken in the a/r/tographic inquiry.A/r/tography was implemented with one swimmer participant and focusedon the ‘normalised’ yet destructive ‘slim to win’ body practices found to beoccurring in swimming culture. Four interrelated parts of the a/r/tographicinquiry process are highlighted so other sociocultural sport researchers canunderstand how to implement the approach. The feasibility and educativeoutcomes of the methodology are also discussed. The final section of thepaper outlines the learning outcomes for the swimmer participant afterengaging with the a/r/tographic inquiry process. A critical discussion is alsopresented outlining whether a/r/tography offers anything new than otherarts-based research.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:McMahon, JA and MacDonald, A and Owton, H
Keywords: Arts-based research; arts-based methodology; learning; embodiment; empowerment; inquiry; swimming; sporting culture
Journal or Publication Title: Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 2159-676X
DOI / ID Number: 10.1080/2159676X.2017.1311279
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis GroupThis is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health on 9 April 2017, available online:

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