Expert tool use: a phenomenological analysis of processes of incorporation in the case of elite rope skipping

Kathrine Liedtke Thorndahl, Susanne Ravn

Publikation: Kapitel i bog/rapport/konference-proceedingKapitel i bogForskningpeer review


According to some phenomenologists, a tool can be experienced as
incorporated when, as a result of habitual use or deliberate practice,
someone is able to manipulate it without conscious effort. In this
article, we specifically focus on the experience of expertise tool
use in elite sport. Based on a case study of elite rope skipping, we
argue that the phenomenological concept of incorporation does
not suffice to adequately describe how expert tool users feel when
interacting with their tools. By analyzing a combination of insights
gained from participant observation of 11 elite rope skippers and
autoethnographic material from one former elite skipper, we take
some initial steps toward the development of a more nuanced
understanding of the concept of incorporation; one that is able
to accommodate the experiences of expert tool users. In sum, our
analyses indicate that the possibility for experiencing a tool as
incorporated depends on the existence of an extraordinary kind of
relationship between the tool and the expert tool user. This relation,
that can persist even when successful manipulation of the tool fails, is
not only cultivated through deliberate practice of physical skills, but
also through the collective sense-making process going on within a
particular community of practice. Therefore, expert tool users may
experience a more profound kind of incorporation that can persist
even when normal motor incorporation fails.
TitelSkills, Knowledge and Expertise in Sport
RedaktørerGunnar Breivik
ISBN (Trykt)9781138559677
ISBN (Elektronisk)9781138559679
StatusUdgivet - 2017
NavnEthics and sport