Re-presentations on Instagram of the bodies of Japanese students enrolled in sports clubs based on the photo-interview method

Research papers
By Fabienne Duteil-Ogata

Japanese students enrolled in university sports clubs regularly use social networks, especially Instagram. How do these student athletes re-present their bodies on Instagram, and, in doing so, what are they saying (or not) about their bodily practices? Using the photo-interview method developed by John Collier and practices inherent to the digital age—the phoneogram-interview—I will explore re-presentations of the corporality of two student athletes (a judoka and a dancer) from the perspective of figures of speech, inspired by Albert Piette’s pioneering work on comparative ontographies (2010), with a view to accounting for the mode of bodily presence. Analysis of the posts published on Instagram by these two student athletes in the light of those of their peers demonstrates that their daily sporting activity is relatively under-re-presented, unlike the “exceptional” moments in their student life. Action and emotion lie at the heart of their phoneograms, expressing the body either as a metonymy or playful parody, foregrounding the Other and creating a form of communicational corporality.

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