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The mutual constitution of sensuous and discursive understanding in scientific practice: An autoethnographic lens on academic writing
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, School of Business.
Stanford University, USA.
2013 (English)In: Management Learning, ISSN 1350-5076, E-ISSN 1461-7307, Vol. 44, no 4, 395-423 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The research process and production of scientific knowledge has traditionally been viewed as based on abstract analysis and intellectual capacity rather than physical and emotional resources, promoting an

understanding of academic practice as a detached, non-emotional and objective activity. Lately, several

researchers have bemoaned this lack of recognition of the bodiliness of our work. In this study, we attempt to address this gap by exploring and conceptualizing some of the ways in which the embodied dimensions of academic research practice are intertwined with the articulation of ideas in the writing of scientific texts. In order to pursue our aim, we draw on experiences explicated through an auto-ethnographic approach, including the generation of personal narratives and in-depth conversations with 18 researchers from different universities in Europe and the US. The paper contributes to the sociology of science and academic literacy literature, by conceptualizing the interconnectedness between sensuous and discursive understanding in this context. With the advancement of this theoretical approach, we illuminate how scientific practice is bound up with emotional, embodied, material, social, political and institutional forces. We also challenge the dichotomy between “knowledge work” or “theoretical” tasks on the one hand, and body work or physical labour on the other.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 44, no 4, 395-423 p.
Keyword [en]
Embodiment, Merleau-Ponty, sensuous and discursive understanding, academic literacy, scientific practice, writing, academic work.
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-89086DOI: 10.1177/1350507611431529ISI: 000323327400005OAI: diva2:615530
Available from: 2013-04-10 Created: 2013-04-10 Last updated: 2013-09-18Bibliographically approved

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Essén, AnnaVärlander, Sara Winterstorm
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