Creating Thirdspace Physical Culture for, With, and About Recent Immigrant Girls: Instagram as a Space of Marginalization and Resistance

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
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Recent reports have indicated that recent immigrant minority girls are the least physically active in the United States and are often categorized as “bodies-at-risk” for obesity and other health issues. This dominant “at-risk” discourse presents a negative image of recent immigrant minority girls and positions them as “others.” This participatory visual study thus explored how the recent immigrant minority girls co-constructed and shared their (dis)engagement in physical culture on a popular social media platform: Instagram. Results demonstrated that the use of Instagram served two interrelated functions: (a) a constructive pedagogical space in which the participants examined, learned, and expressed their knowledge related to physical activity and health and (b) an empowering tool to create “Thirdspace” in which the participants’ visual texts opened up the space of inclusion and fluidity. Despite potential risks, it was suggested that the use of Instagram was beneficial for conducting research with, for, and about marginalized youth.

Lee is with the Department of Kinesiology, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA. Azzarito is with the Physical Culture and Education Program, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.

Lee (jhl2192@tc.columbia.edu) is corresponding author.
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