chapter  5
16 Pages

Eliciting the Tacit: Interviewing to Understand Bodily Experience

WithGeorgiana Gore, Géraldine Rix-Lièvre, Olivier Wathelet, Anne Cazemajou

This chapter espouses a phenomenologically informed cognitive anthropology and focuses explicitly on bodily experience. The three studies share a number of premises which the authors highlight rapidly before outlining tenets of a cognitive anthropology of bodily practices. In keeping with most contemporary ethnography, all three studies adopt a reflexive approach that acknowledges the situatedness of production of anthropological knowledge not only in the ethnographic encounter construed dialogically as a process of co-construction, but also in its textualization. Cooking, like many practices using hands and tools, is often reduced to its gestural dimension even by experts themselves. Rix-Lievre’s research focuses on cognitive basis of the rugby referee’s experience. Anne Cazemajou’s study investigates the transmission of bodily experience in a contemporary dance class and the various means by which the amateur adult pupils make sense of the teacher’s instructions. The most salient difference between these techniques concerns the reliance or not on audiovisual traces as aids to verbalization of the interviewee’s actions.