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date: 09 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the turn to the body that occurred in sport history in the late twentieth century, tracing its connections to the emergence of structuralism in postwar French social theory. Focusing on the work of Pierre Bourdieu and Michel Foucault, the chapter argues that the “somatic turn” in sport history drew inspiration from an accompanying linguistic turn in French social theory and philosophy. As part of this discussion, the chapter discusses studies of the body in sport history influenced by Bourdieu and Foucault and concludes with some issues, problems, and implications of the somatic/linguistic turn in current historical research.

Keywords: bodies, structuralism, French social theory, post-structuralism, Bourdieu, Foucault, habitus, biopolitics, governmentality

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