Scott DS & Punch S (2024) The physicality of mindsports through elite bridge players’ sensorial experiences: Presence, confidence and bodies. The Sociological Review, 72 (1), pp. 194-212. https://doi.org/10.1177/00380261231155326
The classification of mindsports such as the card game of bridge within sport and society continues to be keenly debated. The concept of ‘physicality’ is often cited as being a prerequisite for an activity to be classed as a ‘sport’, a characteristic typically seen as lacking in mindsports. However, by drawing upon monist conceptualisations of the mind, body and world being intertwined, it is possible to problematise such arguments by highlighting the interconnected sensations experienced when participating in bridge. This article explores such a notion through phenomenologically-inspired analysis of 52 interviews with elite-level bridge players. The findings detail the importance players placed upon aspects of kinaesthesia, physical presence within the competitive environment, and the role of other social actors within their own understandings of their competition experience. These sensorial, emotional and embodied accounts of elite-level bridge shed light on the physical negotiations and socio-cultural influences involved in mindsport, which allude to a greater degree of ‘physicality’ than has previously been discussed.
confidence; embodiment; mindsport; physicality; sociology of the senses
The Sociological Review: Volume 72, Issue 1
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