Core Practice 8 — Analysis: Moving with Polarities

Data sets are usually quite messy. How can you write one thesis that represents voices, stakeholders, landscapes, traditions or themes/variables that potentially contradict each other? This Exploration helps you to move with such contrasts and find your own equilibrium within (potential) tensions. Although different groups or themes might not ‘agree’ with each other, we see polarities not necessarily as confrontational, but as part of a network construction. Just like day and night form two aspects of the cycle of the sun, polarities can simply display different qualities and intensities. If this sounds too abstract for you at this point, you could first learn about moving with two specific contrasts and discovering your body’s responses to them in Extended Practice: Body Data 1 Exploring your physical intelligence, before returning to this exploration.


Further Reading

Bagley, C. and Cancienne, M. B. (2001) ‘Educational Research and Intertextual Forms of (Re)Presentation: The Case for Dancing the Data’, Qualitative Inquiry,, 7(2), pp. 221-237.

Boyce, K. (2013) ‘The thinking body: dance, philosophy and modernism’, in Bunker, J., Pakes, A. & Rowell, B. (eds.) Thinking through dance. The philosophy of dance performance and practices. Binsted, Hampshire: Dance Books, pp. 256-272.

Bresler, L. (ed.) (2004) Knowing Bodies, Moving Minds. Towards Embodied Teaching and Learning. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Cancienne, M. B. and Bagley, C. (2009) ‘Dance as method: The process and product of movement in educational research’, Arts and Learning Research Journal, 25(1).

Lakoff, G. and Johnson, M. (1999) Philosophy in the Flesh. The Embodied Mind and Its Challenge to Western Thought. New York: Basic Books.

Nabhan-Warren, K. (2011) ‘Embodied Research and Writing: A Case for Phenomenologically Oriented Religious Studies Ethnographies’, Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 79(2), pp. 378-407.

O’Dell, T. and Willim, R. (2013) ‘Transcription and the Senses’, The Senses and Society, 8(3), pp. 314-334.

Penfield, K. (2001) ‘Movement as a way to the unconscious’, in Searle, Y. & Streng, I. (eds.) Where Analysis meets the arts. The Integration of the Arts Therapies with Psychoanalytic Theory. London and New York: Karnac Books, pp. 107-26.

Snowber, C. (2016) Embodied inquiry. Writing, living and being through the body. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

Spry, T. (2001) ‘Performing Autoethnography: An Embodied Methodological Praxis’, Qualitative Inquiry, 7(6), pp. 706-732.

Todres, L. (2007) Embodied Enquiry. Phenomenological touchstones for research, psychotherapy and spirituality. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Winterstorm, S. and Essén, A. (2011) ‘The embodied dimension of creativity in academic knowledge work’, International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion, 4(3-4), pp. 251-270.