Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Moving Bodies: Diversity, Skill and Embodiment

How are social structures of gender, religion and race/ethnicity learned and embodied in practices of movement?

Jasmijn Rana

MSc Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology - Research opportunity

Moving Bodies investigates how ideas about gender, race/ethnicity and religion sediment in the body through a focus on practices of moving. This can be practices such as walking, sports and dance, but also other practises that require active, moving bodies such as theatre, praying or gardening. This research project offers an opportunity for students to research the processes in which humans learn to move their bodies and therewith shape the kind of beings they become. It goes beyond questions about people’s much studied accessibility and motivation as factors of a lack of participation in physical activity or public life, but instead focusses on the ways in which learning how to move relates to wider social structures in which its practitioners are embedded.

Students in this research project are asked to develop an individual research project that draws attention to the social and cultural characteristics of movement and how they relate to inequalities in society. How are social structures of gender, religion and race/ethnicity embedded in embodied knowledge?  How do embodied skills inform individual and collective identities in movement? How are the senses involved in these processes?


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