Body, Movement and Culture

Research Group


The Body, Movement and Culture (BMC) Research Group was founded in 2009 by Pirkko Markula and Jim Denison as part of Norman Denzin’s international network of collaborative qualitative research sites ( Members of the BMC draw on a range of research approaches to examine how the body and movement are practiced as they are assembled within culture.

From multiple theoretical and performance perspectives we aim to understand the complex social forces that shape and inform the moving body in contemporary society.

We analyze such practices as sport, exercise, dance, and physical activity through text analyses, interviews, case studies, and ethnographies. We also examine the actual practice of a number of movement forms in collaboration with instructors, coaches, and choreographers.

In addition, we support alternative ways of representing research such as autoethnography and performance ethnography.

The settings where members conduct their research include health clubs, fitness studios, dance classes and performances, sports clubs, teams, competitive settings, media sites, and other places where (in)active bodies engage with physical culture.

To keep up to date on member news please follow us on Twitter @Research_BMC.


Pirkko and Jim