New materialisms, sport and the environment

This paper explores the potential of using new materialist theory for more-than-human understandings of sport and the environment. The authors begin by reviewing key trends in research on sport and the environment, before signaling the recent turn towards new materialist ontological principles to explore the intra-actions between sport, physical leisure and the natural environment. They then turn specifically to feminist new materialisms to examine the important contributions such theoretical strands offer for rethinking human and nonhuman entanglements with the environment. Lastly, the authors take inspiration from feminist new materialisms to propose a research imaginary aimed towards opening new ‘lines of flight’ in sport and environment research, praxis and pedagogies, particularly in relation to: (i) methods, (ii) modes of representation, (iii) ethical understandings, and (iv) teaching tools. This paper may serve to encourage others to explore how feminist new materialist approaches might enable new noticings, vital respondings, and thus feminist ethics and response-abilities to (and with) the environments that our sporting and movement practices are already entangled.

CITE: Thorpe, H., Brice, J., & Clark, M. (2021). New materialisms, sport and the environment: imagining new lines of flight. Sport, Education and Society, 26(4), 363-377.

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