Techniques of Power in Physical Education and the Underrepresentation of Women in Leadership

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education

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Louisa A. WebbUniversity of Queensland

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Doune MacdonaldUniversity of Queensland

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In a research project investigating the underrepresentation of women in leadership in physical education within the context of workplace cultures and teachers’ lives and careers, subtle effects of power were found to be influential. This article outlines the analytical framework that was used for the discourse analysis of interviews from this research based on the work of Gore (1998), Wright (2000), and Foucault. Seventeen teachers (7 male and 10 female) were interviewed and the data analyzed through discourse analysis using eight techniques of power described by Gore that are pertinent to educational and physical education settings. These techniques explained the colonization of space by dominant masculinities, the male gaze on female bodies, gendered expectations of behavior and appearance, dominant discourses of male leadership, and exclusion from male-dominated networks that all contributed toward the underrepresentation of women in leadership in physical education.

Webb is currently with School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Loughborough University, Leicestershire, U.K., and Macdonald is with the University of Queensland.

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