Research Positions, Postures and Practices in Leisure Studies

The example of sport

Authored by: Jonathan Long

Routledge Handbook of Leisure Studies

Print publication date:  April  2013
Online publication date:  July  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415697170
eBook ISBN: 9780203140505
Adobe ISBN: 9781136495595

10.4324/9780203140505.ch8

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Abstract

In accord with one contemporary research style, this paper is in part a personal story of a journey through what I have previously referred to as inter-paradigmatic space (Long, 2007). As narratives are now accepted as a more credible form of research it might be possible to present this chapter purely as a series of reflections on a career in research during which fields and habitus have continually locked horns. I shall refrain from surrendering entirely to that temptation. However, to deny the significance of personal experience would be perverse, and it is worth emphasizing that any piece of social science writing must involve elements of individual narrative, whether or not it is recognized as such. To deny that would be akin to positivist attempts to assert an objectivity that cannot be. Of course I shall have to return to such a value-laden statement at various times in this chapter, but it is in accord with calls for reflexivity (e.g., Dupuis, 1999; Watson and Scraton, 2001) that have come to the fore over the past two decades. And if I didn’t know it before, my research into racism has screamed the importance of appreciating the need for reflexivity. However, if pressed, I would still position myself somewhere close to the kind of critical realist position of Ramazanoglu and Holland (2002: 72), who maintain that ‘reality exists independently of people’s consciousness of it, but the connections between what is real, what is thought and what is experienced cannot be easily disentangled’.

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