“Putting Blinders on”: Ethnic Minority Female PE Teachers’ Identity Struggles Negotiating Racialized Discourses

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
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  • 1 Springfield College
  • 2 Teachers College Columbia University
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Background: Ethnic minority physical education teachers who work in predominantly White schools may face multiple forms of marginalization due to racialized discourses of White normativity. In addition, the intersection of whiteness and hegemonic masculinity embedded within physical education may result in an “othering” of teachers who are located outside the accepted norms of their schools. Purpose: The authors examined the embodied identities of ethnic minority female physical education teachers who work in predominantly White schools to identify how whiteness informs their sense of self. Methods: This study utilized narrative-based semistructured and conversational interviews and photo elicitation as the methods for visual narrative inquiry. Results: Participants not only enacted color-blind discourses to make their racialized identities invisible, but also experienced identity struggles in their effort to negotiate hypervisibility as minorities within their schools. Discussion: The identity struggle of racialized self-representations in White schools represents how multiple marginalizing factors prevent ethnic minorities from overtly expressing their authentic selves.

Simon is with the School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation at Springfield College, Springfield, MA. Azzarito is with Teachers College Columbia University, New York, NY.

Simon (msimon3@springfield.edu) is corresponding author.
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