In splendid isolation - Is the field missing something?

Humberstone, Barbara (2010) In splendid isolation - Is the field missing something? In: Research in outdoor sports and outdoor education: principles into practice. Charles University, Prague.

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It can be argued that much research in outdoor sport and outdoor activities has been undertaken and represented in ‘splendid isolation’ without recourse to research and theorizing from major disciplines. Wagner (1993) refers to the collective ignorance in educational research making reference to ‘blank’ and ‘blind’ spots. Blank spots are known areas such as theories and perspectives which are seen to require further questioning, whilst blind spots are those which are not known or cared about and so are ignored. This paper considers the way in which interpretative research may be utilized to uncover ‘blank’ and ‘blind’ spots in outdoor sport and adventurous activities. It highlights the significance of a number of theoretical perspectives for making sense of the outdoors as a social and cultural phenomenon. Finally, it draws attention to ethnographic and life-history research and associated epistemological, methodological and ethical issues providing some examples.This paper is a bricolage in which I, the bricoleur, 1bring together a variety of thought, research and praxis and argue for greater engagement of outdoor sport and education with a diversity of social perspectives (Humberstone, Brown and Richards, 2003). I begin by offering the opportunity of engaging with C. Wright Mills’ notion of sociological imagination. I then draw attention to Wagner’s (1993) blank and blind sports in education and highlight these in theoretical perspectives and research in outdoor sport, education and research methodologies. Next I discuss interpretative research approaches which can provide for more inclusive research that reaches out to other disciplines and other perspectives. Finally, I will provide examples of such methodologies adopted in outdoor education research.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: Series: Outdoor activities in educational and recreational programmes, Prague, Czech Republic: Charles University p.40-49;.
Keywords: outdoor sports, outdoor education, interpretative research, ethnographic research, life-history research
Depositing User: Elizabeth Chamberlain
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2010 15:37
Last Modified: 22 May 2015 13:20
Status: Published
Date: 24 November 2010
Refereed: No

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