A Nonverbal Discourse Analysis of Gender in Undergraduate Educational Gymnastics Sequences Using Laban Effort Analysis

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
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Postmodern theory and Laban analysis were used to study gender as a nonverbal discourse in educational gymnastic sequences of male (n = 12) and female (n = 10) undergraduate students. Sequences were coded using Laban’s (1948) effort concepts (weight, time, space, and flow). For interpretive purposes, each concept was overlaid with a gender reference based on historical gender images. A chi-square test of independence of each effort dimension by gender group indicated weight, space, and flow are significantly related to gender. Males tended to use strong, direct, and bound actions, while females tended to use light, indirect, and free actions (p < .01). No significant difference in use of time was found. A chi-square test of independence of movement model by gender revealed the hypothesized male model was more likely to be used by males, while the female model was more likely to be used by females (p < .001).

L.M. Nilges is with the Department of Health and Physical Education at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV 89154-3050.

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