University of Calgary

Sarah Jacobs

  • Sessional Instructor

Research Interests

Sport; anthropology of the body; anthropology of science; anthropology of knowledge; medical anthropology; ethnography.

Current Research: "Moral Fiber and Muscle Fiber: The Social Production of High-Performance Speed Skaters". My PhD research focuses on how knowledge is shared among those in high-performance sport and the ways in which abstract concepts are put into practice, embodied by athletes working to improve their performance.  Over the past quarter century, success in high-performance sport has increasingly meant working with experts from fields that were once peripheral to sport-proper; this includes physiology, biochemistry, engineering, psychology and many others.  These collaborations have heralded practical changes in nutrition, equipment, training and recovery.  They have also heralded changes in what it means to be an athlete.  Using ethnographic research methods, I'm working among a group of speed-skaters at the Olympic Oval on a study of expertise in practice.

Past Research: "Exchanging Life: Managing Uncertainty in the Treatment of End-Stage Renal Disease". My MA research on end-stage renal disease explored how some of the difficult decisions necessitated by therapeutic advancements in the form of kidney transplant and renal dialysis were negotiated by patients and their lay and professional care givers.


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