Sports as finite provinces of meaning : an application of the phenomenology of Alfred Schutz

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
K. Gail Whitaker (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Gail Hennis

Abstract: Schutz's phenomenological theory of internal time consciousness was reviewed. According to the theory, a phase of the individual's flow of conscious experience can be constituted as a discrete object of attention. The meaning of such an isolated experience is defined as the individual's reflective attitude when attending to the experience. A finite province of meaning is, according to Schutz, a set of the individual's experiences which exhibit a characteristic cognitive style and whose meanings are mutually compatible with respect to that style. It was argued that the set of the individual's participatory experiences in any sport displays a unique cognitive style and thus constitutes a finite province of meaning. As an example, the cognitive style of the sport of singles tennis was discussed. Reflective acts within a finite province of meaning result in meanings which have the cognitive style of the province in common. Therefore, when the individual enters into participation in a sport, a significant aspect of the meanings of the sport experiences is predetermined. Further, the meanings of sport experiences are fundamentally different when the experiences are reflected upon within different finite provinces of meaning.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1980
Schutz, Alfred, $d 1899-1959
Physical education and training $x Philosophy
Sports $x Psychological aspects
Meaning (Psychology)
Cognitive styles
Phenomenological psychology.

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