What do the humanities (really) know about doping? Questions, answers and cross-disciplinary strategies

What do the humanities (really) know about doping? Questions, answers and cross-disciplinary strategies / Ask Vest Christiansen, John Gleaves. - (Performance Enhancement & Health 2 (2013) 4 (December); p. 2016-225)

  • DOI: 10.1016/j.peh.2014.06.002


Recent years have brought debates about the future role of humanities research in light of sciences’ progress. In doping research, tacit biases in favour of science risk ignoring the humanities in their efforts to understand and address the doping phenomenon. This article is a continuation of the discussion on the role of the humanities and social sciences in research on drug use in sport. The article asserts that until those who wish to address the doping issues in sport begin engaging humanities and social science research alongside the natural sciences, the results from scientific experiments will remain detached from the lived experiences of the athletes, and the anti-doping campaign risks losing its legitimacy. Conversely, we will also argue against two types of drawbacks for humanistic research; one is the dismissal of the pursuit of truth in exchange of epistemological relativism. The other is the tendency to turn inward and become reluctant to use empirical tools that provide purchase on the doping issue. The article will conclude by sketching a positive account of the two fields collaborating with more porous borders but one that asks neither side to compromise its professional standards or modes of inquiry. This new account asserts that future doping research requires cross-disciplinary and collaborative research rooted in strong methodologies but conversant in both languages.

Original document


Dissertation / Thesis
26 July 2014
Christiansen, Ask Vest
Gleaves, John
United States of America
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Aarhus Universitet (AU) - Aarhus University
California State University (CSU)
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Scientific article
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Date generated
30 August 2021
Date of last modification
1 September 2021
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