Action, Movement, and Culture: Does Culture Shape Movement?

Review by: William A. Harper
By Blandine Bril

The Big Idea

In shorthand, this paper is both WEIRD and weird.  In longhand, it is about the impact of cultural constraints on motor habits.  In a sentence: It is weird that the scientific community regularly assumes that Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic (WEIRD) peoples are solely representative of humankind.

This paper by Blandine Bril was published in Kinesiology Review in 2018.  Bril’s question is a simple one:  Are there “motor styles” common to members of a given cultural group?  Her answer is “Yes.”  She argues that as our perspective shifts from WEIRD to worldwide cultural people markers, we see that similar motoric constraints generate widely diverse adaptations and strategies.